Sex, Lies and Tau Rumours

December 31, 2011 · 11 comments

I think we can safely say that no one knows anything about the new Tau Codex.

The rumours have been flying thick and fast lately with regards to the 'uber suit' and 'sniper suit' which Fil Dunn from the 'Eavy Metal team made conversions of years ago.

In fact, all the rumours seem to be wish listing combined the latest new army trends with a dash of common sense for what the Tau army really needs. So essentially it's a case of 'throw enough shit and something will stick' with regards to the rumours people are throwing out. Based on trends and common sense it's inevitable that someone will guess right with regards to new units or rules changes.

But whatever happens, it's safe to say that the Tau Empire will receive an exaggeration of their background to make them larger than life, with new units and rules to reflect that.

The obvious choice would to go down the anime mecha route and have all kinds of crazy battle suits, sky fortresses and anything else you can imagine from Macross/Robotech. Throw in some subjugated alien races for good measure and you're good to go.

With the new Games Workshop Iron Curtain in place, there really is no chance of any information leaks until the imminent release of the new Tau army. Like many of you, I just wish we knew when the Tau are coming. But with almost every other army ticked off the list, we know it has to be soon.

In the meantime, I'm going to continue building my army and wait to see if there is a Tau preview on the back of the January White Dwarf. And even then I'll still be holding my breath to see if there is a Tau Empire release in February.

Just Make Pulse Weapons Strength 6

December 30, 2011 · 10 comments

December 30, 2011

I managed to catch up for a wargaming chat down the pub with James and Luke to discuss the new Necron Codex and the forthcoming Tau Codex which is currently rumoured for release in February.

Anyway, we got talking about the things which define each army. In the case of the Tau it's Strength 5 basic weapons, Blacksun Filters, Markerlights and Rail Guns.

But then James pointed out that most of the guns in the Necron Codex are now Strength 5. So what does that leave Tau with, bearing in mind that Strength 5 was one of their biggest army benefits.

"Well, why not put pulse weapons up to Strength 6?" Luke suggested. "Then the Tau might actually be able to kill something. Their weapons are 'plasma based' after all."

We debated it at length and it seemed to address a lot of the issues with the current Tau Codex while keeping the Tau 'army identity' as it were.

James also suggested that Burst Cannons should have their range increased from 18" to 24", because then they would be worth taking. He also added that it would make Stealth Suits actually function in their role without getting into range to shoot, jumping back, but still getting spotted for being within 21"-24" and killed.

Anyway, we can't wait for the new Tau Codex in February if the rumours are true. There's definitely going to be a lot of change to bring them back in line with the current set of armies out there.

Why Board Games Are Brilliant!

December 25, 2011 · 1 comments

Ever since Space Hulk, I've found a real appreciation for miniature board games.

A good board game (with miniatures of course) comes straight out of the box and is ready to play after some assembly.

You rarely, if ever, have to worry about the rules changing and you get a small selection of models to paint -if you really want to.

But ultimately, board games seem to offer everything that I love about wargaming. You get an engaging setting, a range of challenging missions and two sides to take turns playing.

Best of all, there are no taboos about playing with unpainted miniatures, so you can get straight into a game.

Meanwhile, when you do finally sit down to paint your miniatures, it's not quite so intense as having to paint an entire army.

Space Hulk, Super Dungeon Explore or even Dread Fleet are all great examples of miniature board games that give you a variety of detailed models to paint in a range of colour schemes.

For me, this makes the painting much more fun than painting a whole army because I have less models to paint, but each model is quite unique, so I can paint them differently.

This seems to break the contents of each board game down into bite sized chunks for painting rather than feeling like I have to paint 100 identical miniatures all in one monstrous session.

Speaking of which, we will be playing Zombies!!! between Christmas and New Year. And the great thing about this game is that even your less geeky relatives will want to play it too thanks to pop culture.

Last time even Mum and Dad were happily gunning down hordes of the undead, believing it to be some form of socially accepted (and encouraged) norm after having watched Shaun Of The Dead and The Walking Dead. It's amazing what pop culture can do!

In the end it was a close run between Mum and Dad.

Dad was blasting zombies apart by the dozen as was only 1 kill away from winning the game with the prestigious "Zombie Killer Of The Week" award.

Meanwhile Mum was fighting her way through the zombie packed landing pad and finally managed to climb aboard the helicopter and escape to safety, winning the game.

So how did you get into wargames?

I ask, because for many people around my age Space Crusade and Hero Quest opened the door into the wider world of miniature games.

I remember one of the older kids in my street had Hero Quest and a year later he got Space Crusade as well. Because I spent a lot of time playing my Turrican 2 on my Commodore 64, Space Crusade really appealed to me.

A few years later, I walked into Games Workshop in the newly opened Lakeside Thurrock shopping centre and bought the 2nd edition Warhammer 40,000 game with all my saved up pocket money. Good times!

Board games seem like a great way to bring people into the hobby. They're great fun, much more affordable than an army and best of all, your relatives don't mind buying them for you and will sometimes ask to play them too!

What Are You Building Over Christmas?

December 19, 2011 · 11 comments

December 19, 2011

Ah, Christmas!

A time for festivities, family, good will to all men... and a few blessed days off work to frantically build and paint your little plastic dudes with their little plastic guns!

But it really is the perfect time for this sort of thing, isn't it? Because it's cold outside, there isn't much to do out there, business has pretty much closed down for the festive period and all you do is spend your time with friends and family. Which is even better if those friends happen to be gaming buddies.

So I'm planning to spend my time at James's place, or he and Marc can come to mine, we'll stick either all the Lord Of The Rings, ALIENS or Predator films on the telly and glue and paint to our heart's content.

And because New Year's Eve has been so ghastly, expensive and utterly disappointing in recent years, the guys are coming over for an evening of food, drink and games. Most likely Space Hulk, Zombies!!! and Super Dungeon Explore before finishing off with some terrible horror movies. You know, the kind that are SO BAD that they go full circle and somehow become GOOD.

Anyway, while there's no way that I'm getting through all 4 of these Tau Battle Forces, I'll do my best to get 1 of them done. I'm going to have to spend some serious time on my army if I want it to be ready in time for the next Tau Codex.

But in the meantime, what's going to be on your painting desk for Christmas?

Why I Won't Be Playing Warmachine

December 14, 2011 · 6 comments

December 14, 2011

Warmachine has been around for 10 years now, which is scary considering I played it when it first came out.

I even demonstrated it at Kensington Olympia the following year and was badly paid in free figures.

Then 'Escalation', the first Warmachine expansion, was released and this great little game changed forever before quickly being dubbed 'Infantry-Machine' by the online community.

Since then I've dipped my toe back into Warmachine a couple of times. Most recently I picked up the new Khador book, Khador starter box and the new sculpt of The Butcher Of Khardov -my favourite Warcaster.

Lack of Opponents

Worst of all, I can only really play against James, who openly admitted that while he wanted to do Cygnar, he chose Cryx because he wants to win.

Don't get me wrong, James is like a brother to me, which could explain why he's such a close friend, while at other times I want to rip his arms off and beat him to death with them.

But he is competitive by nature. Very competitive. And anything that starts out as fun will quickly turn into a serious competition. I can't let him 'just win' of course. So perhaps I'm just as bad?

Anyway, the other side of this competitive coin is that his model building and painting standards are considerably lower than mine. He'll blitz through a whole unit in a day, base coating it black, painting the bare minimum colours, flock it with grey flock and consider it finished -Hence why he chose Cryx. But I just can't bring myself to do that.

So he always wins any kind of 'escalation' based army building. And if we're only playing each other, his army will somehow 'evolve' to specifically obliterate mine.

The reason we'll only be playing each other is because our nearest decent gaming club is too far away to get to and runs at inconvenient times. So the only other source of opponents is to attend some Warmachine tournaments, which are few and far between.

Lack of Range
Did I mention how badly I suck at this game?

This is because I can't guess ranges to save my life, which is a problem when the longest ranged gun in the game is about 12" and the slightest difference in 1" or 2" can make or break a game.

The juggling of unit activations, spells, lasting effects and focus didn't make this too enjoyable for me either. To an extent, I like to relax when playing games and trying to juggle all this was a bit too taxing after a long day at the office.

You see, this is why I quickly discarded the traditionally 'magical' Warcasters in favour of The Butcher. The man is simplicity itself! He has simple spells, thinks simple and fights simple. He may be as subtle as a sledgehammer, but playing him worked well for a while.

Lack of Time
This is the main factor, because I only have so much time to dedicate to building and painting models. Typically Warhammer 40K always comes first.

Warhammer 40K is also our main game, so it always takes priority.
Similarly, if I buy stuff to build and paint, it's usually 40K.
If we want to have a wargaming weekend away, it's always 40K.

And that's the great thing about playing Warhammer 40K, because it's convenient and everybody plays it. So it's easy to buy tournament tickets or simply rock up at Warhammer World for a day of games and we always bump into people we know there.

Warmachine on the other hand, I feel needs more of an investment in time to really plan an army. It also seems like a great effort to organise a game that we're not very familiar with and it always takes ages to set up and play.

Not that I'm wanting to put anyone off Warmachine (or Hordes), but for me it will never expand beyond the start box games simply due to the limited time I have to invest in my hobby.

It's just more productive to invest that time in the games which are easily accessible to so many, creating a much wider pool of opponents. And that's Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer Fantasy.

As for board games like Space Hulk, Zombies!!! and Super Dungeon Explore, they're equally convenient, because they don't need painting straight away, there aren't as many models and there are no army lists to build. They're also a much smaller investment in both time and money.

I guess these are all the reasons that I like board games so much...but that's for another blog post.

So have you tried Warmachine or Hordes yet and how did you find it?

Blog Wars 3

December 13, 2011 · 4 comments

December 13, 2012

Blog Wars 3 has been announced for the 2nd of June. Everybody needs goals to work towards and I've decided that mine will be Blog War 3!

That gives me 5 months (and a bit) to build a Tau army, refine my tactics and make sure that Venerable doesn't win it again with another of his dirty cut n' paste army lists from the internet.

What manner of beast would bring such filth to a 'friendly' tournament, I ask you?

That said, a the new Tau Codex could be out in February if the rumours are true and that could change everything.

Now all we need is a little plasma...and a lot of luck!

TableTop Nation

December 10, 2011 · 1 comments

TableTop Nation seems to be a new tournament network created by Beasts Of War and Wayland Games which not only promotes their own brands, but also includes manufacturers and local gaming stores.

And that's the interesting part, because little gaming shops and hobby stores could get involved, expand their area of outreach and national awareness.

The best way to do this would be to get a reputation for running really good tournaments for particular games and offering those little extras that other tournaments tend to lack -like good food!

Will there be other features on TableTop Nation like a store finder for particular games, ratings for each store and a tournaments calendar? Who knows! But I'm sure that the wargaming community can ask for these functions.

As I'm planning to run my first tournament in 2012 with a twist, I'm very much looking forward to what this new network has to offer.

Black Templars...Then Tau?

December 8, 2011 · 8 comments

December 28, 2011

It's Black Templars first, then Tau in the line of new Codex books apparently. The rumour mill seems to have settled on this pretty firmly now.

Ironically, this comes just after my rather ranty post about being sick of playing with and against Spess Mehreens. So black sprays cans at the ready, because yet another army of snorting, grunting, testosterone fuelled meat heads in armour are about to come storming across your tabletop!

Word has it that the Black Templars will be awesome in close combat (as you'd expect), that they will be cheaper so that players can field hordes of them and that they'll have the old Pre Heresy Thunder Rhino as their 'special transport' which means assaults out of Open-Topped vehicles. There was also talk of a Chaplain Dreadnought and another 'big kit' which is the way Games Workshop are talking all the armies nowadays.

Their focus is to try and make all the Space Marine armies as different as possible. Fair play to them.

But What About The Tau?
The good news is that apparently Eldar have been pushed waaaay back, leaving room for 1 xenos race amongst the menagerie of Marines -the Tau Empire.

So while we cannot expect to be the 1st Codex of 2012, we should get a Codex IN 2012. Probably the same October release slot as the Necrons.

The other bit of good news, although some of you may disagree, is that Robin Cruddace (who wrote Codex Imperial Guard) may be working on the next Tau Empire book. Or it could be Matt Ward bringing his unique brand of madness to the Tau Empire instead.

Considering how good the strategic coordination and Orders system of the Imperial Guard was, I'd be happy for Cruddace to produce the Tau Codex. After all, we really do need all those Markerlights, hard wired and networked upgrades to be cost effective and function somehow.

If Ward gets his hands on it, at least we'll get a very different kind of army from all the others and probably a huge range of battlesuits to choose from too.

Tau Rumours
No doubt you will have noticed that I haven't mentioned many Tau rumours. This is because a lot of what's currently being discussed was mentioned years ago and sounds a lot more like wish listing. Or people simply suggesting good ideas and hoping that they're right when the time comes.

So until we get close to their release date, the blog will be pretty quiet on the Tau rumour front. This is because nothing feels particularly solid right now, while the Black Templar rumours are being confirmed from a wide range of reliable sources.

But one thing is for certain -the Tau Empire will be back very soon, and we'll be ready!

Anyone Else Sick of Playing Space Marines?

December 7, 2011 · 5 comments

December 7, 2011

Are you sick of playing WITH space marines or AGAINST space marines?

Because I've got to admit that after playing Space Wolves for 2 years it was seriously doing my head in.

Ironically, when I first got my Space Wolves, James warned me that they were a bit of a 'gimmick' army and at the time I didn't really get what he meant. I thought he was describing how they get into their Metal Boxes and drive straight into the enemy guns, get out, launch a massive spaz attack and proceed to punch things in a berserk frenzy.

Then Blood Angels came out. James said they were a gimmick army too. They did the same kind of thing, but with Feel No Pain, which made them harder to kill with shooting.

Then Grey Knights came out and James said they were a wait, he said they were outright disgusting! Then he said they were a gimmick army, because the whole force revolved around the success of 1 gun - the Psycannon.

So What Is a Gimmick Army?
According to James, a gimmick army is a force which relies upon 1 thing to succeed in the game. A bit of a gimmick or one-trick-pony you might say.

Grey Knights Psycannon spam, every Blood Angels army running Mephiston and Assault Terminators with Sanguinary Priests, every Space Wolves army running 3 packs of Long Fangs. These are gimmicks.

But what happens when Rending gets toned down in the rules? Or when Feel No Pain gets changed to tiers of resistance to injury? Or when the missile launcher simply isn't effective against tanks any more? Maybe the meta game will simply move on? Then these armies will need to use the other options in their Codex books to be effective.

And They Shall Know No Armour Save
Speaking from experience of playing with Space Wolves, I soon discovered that even my best strategies required me to take a round of fire to the face from the enemy.

Sometimes my Metal Boxes made it across the table. Sometimes they exploded. And when they did, the Grey Hunters inside got pounded by every single gun under the sun. Sometimes they died screaming, sometimes everything seemed to bounce off them.

But considering that a Space Marine army relies primarily on passing an above average amount of its armour saves and cover saves, perhaps it's not the most tactical thing around?

Another Kind of Gimmick
Behold, my Iron Warriors army! Armed to the eyeballs with plasma guns, melta guns, combi-weapons and Obliterators with more plasma, melta, lascannons and all riding in Metal Boxes (with combi-weapons!) this is a gimmick army too.

In fact, I really should finish painting it, dip it, flock it, varnish it and then probably sell it in time for Codex Chaos Legions to be released. Then James can tell me what a fool I was for selling it, because Chaos Legions are the new wicked sick! Or something like that.

Truth is, I got bored playing it. All I ever did was drive towards enemy in Metal Boxes, pop smoke. Drive towards enemy in Metal Boxes. Get out, shoot, charge, punch things, pass armour saves. Obliterators Deepstrike and shoot some stuff. Win/lose.

So What's The Solution?
Despite his pointing gimmicky finger, James is a Space Marine player at heart. He may have Dark Angels, but he plays the regular Space Marine Codex and fields a pure Deathwing or Ravenwing army to mix things up a bit from time to time.

However, his forces are always incredibly balanced, very versatile and able to take on any threat. Sure, he may not massacre his opponents, but he's never in a situation where he's likely to be massacred like some meta game rock/paper/scissors style armies.

While his army is nice and varied, I personally can't stand playing with it. It does nothing for me strategically and relies on your ability to nail enemy tanks with lucky lascannon shots and to pass most of your armour saves.

Although it's not quite so bad to play against once you accept that James only fails 1 in 6 armour saves opposed to 1 in 3, which is statistically correct.

I guess, this is what separates Space Marine players from non-Space Marine players. Because James (gawd bless 'im) has a wonderfully inane belief that his troops should be able to shrug off torrents of enemy fire and that even if he were facing a completely identical Space Marine army (in a different colour), that it's only common sense that his Space Marines would obviously be far better at everything.

Real life statistics don't even begin to enter into this.

More sickening still is the fact that this belief seems to work for him. He constantly beats the odds, quite literally, during the first 3 Turns of the game. Although we've since learned that the longer a game goes on, the faster his luck runs out.

6th Edition On The Way
Hitting tanks on a 2+ and 5+ cover saves could totally change the Warhammer 40K game get again, almost bringing it back to 4th edition when line of sight blocking was rife and whole armies could be wiped out by Turn 3.

Of course the Space Marines will get a brand new Codex, but with more AP3 guns in the game than ever before, how will they cope with a reduced cover save and will the mentality of simply passing lots of armour saves continue to pay off? Only time will tell.

Flog It and Move On

December 5, 2011 · 2 comments

December 5, 2011

I have a lot of wargames stuff in my cupboard. Stuff I will never get round to building, painting or even finishing. So I plan to sell it all off and move on to something better!

Let's see, there's a 2,000pts Iron Warriors army in various stages of being painted. It's okay to play, but it's a bit repetitive because it revolves around driving about in metal boxes. I'm probably going to sit down one weekend, blitz through these and keep them for a little bit before putting them on eBay once my Tau are ready.

There's a big box of Ork stuff n various states. There's about 11 Orks I painted before I realised that they each took far too long to paint for a horde army. This is all going on eBay. Although I'm tempted to keep the 11 Orks for blog photos. My Tau do need something for target practice after all!

Then there's the 28mm Rogue Trader and entourage (5 models) which cost me £50 in beautiful character models for an Inquisitor campaign that we never played. Because the models aren't fom well known manufacturers, these could be very difficult to sell. So we shall see.

I also have some spare Space Hulk Terminators, but I'm definitely hanging on to them!

There's a Necromunda Orlock gang which has never played a game because we don't really play Necromunda...unless I sell off my gang - in which case Luke then announces a fresh new campaign! So they're my insurance that we won't start Necromunda again.

Finally, I have the Warmachine Khador starter box and The Butcher of Khadov. I'm not sure how I feel about these right now, because James is the only person I know who plays Warmachine...and we don't really play much. I'm certainly not keen to expand my Warmachine collection because of this.

The Strong Second Hand Market
You can bitch about eBay and Paypal all you like, but they made selling our wargames miniatures on worth while. Before that you'd get a third of the value or desperately try to flog it for a pittance at your local car boot sale. Instead we get to pitch our second hand products to our target audience. So while I would have gotten next to nothing for all this, I can not sell it to the right demographic, make a bit of money back and fund my next project.

And If You Think That's Bad...
...then you should meet my new friend Steve. He's a fantastic chap, but he admitted to having about £10,000 worth of wargames miniatures stored up in his loft from the past 10+ years of buying, yet never building anything.

This is the man who proudly owns 2 Marienburg Landships from Forgeworld. Oh yeah!

So I suggested he do the same. "Flog it and move on".
Then I suggested he flog it and pay a good painting service to build and paint a huge army for him. Because with all that cash he could certainly afford it and he doesn't really enjoy painting anyway.

So What's the Moral of This Blog Post?
As wargamers we buy a lot of little plastic dudes with little plastic guns. Some times we buy on impulse, sometimes we buy too much. Sometimes we quite simply change our minds or decide that we don't like how something looks, how something plays or we have a better idea.

But the true moral of this story is that you can sell your unwanted stuff on eBay, making money back for yourself, but most importantly, you're making your unwanted miniatures available to other gamers for a fraction of the regular retail price. Because that way it benefits everyone in the hobby.

More Super Dungeon Explore

December 4, 2011 · 1 comments

This week I have been mostly assembling Super Dungeon Explore miniatures and having had a horrendous time with the Druid's Bear form, I didn't have much fun with the rest of the models so far either.

In fact, I'm surprised that no one else has complained about them. Or perhaps I've simply received a bad batch?

Either way, the trimming has continued with not a single piece fitting together properly.

Meanwhile, nasty joins are fairly common and I will be going back over these with green stuff and file once everything is assembled.

But once assembled, the models are truly delightful! They've all got loads of character and as for the game itself, I really cannot wait to play it with a few friends over Christmas. I may even do some Super Dungeon Explore battle reports for you all.

But in the meantime, it's back to building. Although I cannot wait to paint these in bright anime colours! I may even steal some character colour schemes from the classic Record Of Lodoss Wars.

Why You Should Get the Tau Battleforce Right Now

November 28, 2011 · 2 comments

I was adding up all the units of the Tau Battleforce to see how much of a saving it gives you. And I discovered that the individual contents come to £91!

I've taken this opportunity to stock up on these at £48 each from Wayland Games before GW makes them unavailable. I just ordered 4 and saved myself £43 per box. So that's £172 I just saved, which I will of course spend further down the line.

But will the Crisis battlesuit get replaced with a new model? At this price I don't care too much, because I just made a huge saving and the other models in the box will certainly be carried forward.

I also bought a copy of Super Dungeon Explore while I was at it. I mean, why not? I'll no doubt post a review of it in time once I've played a couple of games with it.

I'm really looking forward to building and painting my Tau army again!

Anvil Industry Bases

November 23, 2011 · 2 comments

Joel from Anvil Industry has given me a bag of bases to test with my Tau Firewarriors. But what's special about these resin bases is that they're made from what Joel calls 'heavy resin' and they have a textured dome on the underside.

This gives the models a much lower centre of gravity and lots of grip which stops them from falling over when you place them on uneven terrain.

Check out the video. It's quite remarkable! When I visited him at Anvil Industry we managed to get one model to stand on terrain at a 50 degree angle. Very impressive stuff. Why has no one thought of this before?

I should also mention that the Anvil Industry bases are quite cheap and have just the right amount of detail for building and painting a whole army. So you can easily glue models on to them and paint them up without worrying about the models looking right or being drowned in all the detail crammed on to the base.

I'd better get cracking on some Firewarriors and get these all painted up!

Tau Concept Art

November 21, 2011 · 2 comments

This Tau concept art has been kicking around since 2005, but then so have many of the concept sketches for the new Necron units that we're only just beginner to see now.

So I thought it would be interesting to look back at a lot of the sketches and ideas from way back to the 4th edition Tau Empire Codex publication and get an idea of what we can expect from the 6th edition Tau Empire army.

Now you may remember the Vespid Stingwing sketches which were leaked online for a short time. These designs, as well as the new XV25 Stealth Suit and Commander Shadowsun were created by Roberto Cirillo.

In fact, elements of his Tau Battlesuit concepts have been used by Forgeworld in the creation of their XV9 Battlesuits and weapons.

I've often wondered which kind of direction the general Tau 'style' would be taken in and based on the more recent Forgeworld Battlesuits, I can imagine something far more alien and high tech, moving away from the boxy 80's anime mecha shapes and producing something more sleek and advanced.

There seem to be almost insect like elements to Cirillo's designs, which would certainly set Tau technology apart from the other armies.

It would also unify the overall look and feel of the Tau and any other aliens inducted into the Tau Empire which are also rather insectoid in design.

Either way, I'm looking forward to the inclusion of many new Battlesuit types in the new Tau Empire Codex -especially now that Games Workshop are creating all kinds of new weapons and battlefield roles to keep each army as different as possible.

Allies of the Tau Empire
Cirillo came up with all kinds of alien designs from four-armed towering monsters to the Vespid, Centaurs with sci-fi crossbows and even these critters to the left.

While it's fun to have these extra units in the Tau Empire army, the focus should always be firmly on the Tau and their highly advanced technology. That is why people play the army and are drawn to the army in the first place.

Sure, I'd like a squad of Demiurg as much as the next guy. But only if they fulfil a role in the army that the Tau can't fill themselves. After all, why else would the Tau really want them in their Empire?

New Weapons
Necrons received all manner of new and exotic weapons in their new Codex and I expect the new Tau Empire to be exactly the same.

Oddly though, it seems that the Necrons got all manner of Strength 5 guns, which were one of the Tau's defining features as an army. They also received all manner of Tesla weaponry to go alongside their Gauss weapons.

With Tau pulse weaponry being based around plasma technology it will be interesting to see what's in store for the Tau. Especially when railguns and ion cannons are currently rare. Will we see more electromagnet weaponry? I'd bet that we do.

Although I can't help thinking I've seen some of these guns in District 9. Personally I'd give anything for my Tau to have the gun that fires a lightning bolt which instantly liquidises a target in a show of red water!

Anyway, we'll just have to wait and see what we get. In the meantime I'm going to keep building up my army with units that I believe won't change, like Fire Warriors, Kroot, Stealth Suits and Tau tanks.

What Should I Buy for Tau Now?

November 14, 2011 · 6 comments

We're ready to start building Tau armies in time for the next Codex, but when so many models in the Dark Eldar and Necron ranges have been updated or phased out entirely, how can we know what we should buy for Tau?

I've sat down a put together a list of 'safe units' to build and paint while highlighting the units that I think will get a makeover, or might just get phased out altogether.

So if you're seriously thinking about building a core Tau force over the next couple of months, read on...

Stealth Suits these will most probably stay the same.
Crisis Suits I believe will received a complete overhaul.

Fire Warriors will probably stay the same.
Devilfish - Yes will probably stay the same
Kroot will probably stay the same.
Kroot Ox will probably get moved to Finecast
Kroot Hounds will probably get moved to Finecast
Kroot Shapers will probably get moved to Finecast. I hope GW finally releases the Limited Edition Kroot Shaper holding the rifle above his head like a club. It was clearly so 'limited' that it was never released...

Piranha will probably say the same. Here's hoping for the return of 3 in 1 boxed set.
Pathfinders I really hope get redone. Otherwise the existing models will be moved to Finecast.
Vespid Stingwings will likely be moved to Finecast

Hammerhead will probably stay the same
Skyray - Yes will probably stay the same
Broadside Suits I believe will received a complete overhaul.
Sniper Drone Teams will either get phased out or completely redone. The kit is metal and wouldn't be ideal for Finecast.

So What Am I Going to Get?
For now I will be steering clear of Crisis suits (as much as I love them) and focussing on building up a core force of Tau Firewarriors, Kroot Carnivores, Hammerheads and Devilfish transports. I might build some Stealth Suits to break it up too. But I'll hold off on Piranhas for the time being.

Otherwise everything else feels a bit 'off limits' at the moment. I've never been a fan of metal models, so if things like Kroot Hounds are coming in Finecast resin, I will be very happy.

I just plan to buy, build and paint what I can now...and then wait.

"That patient hunter gets the prey!"

Why You Should Love Your Army

November 7, 2011 · 12 comments

November 11, 2011

"You loved your Tau army." James said one evening, completely out of the blue.

It turns out that James had been seriously considering starting a Necrons army. But, he was torn over the morality of it all. Grey Knights had unleashed some serious cheese upon the game and having been penned by Matt Ward, the Necrons looked set to be the same.

But of course, James being James, he couldn't bring himself to play an army just for the sake of winning. He has to be enthralled in the story of the army. That's why he stuck with his Thousand Sons through thick and thin. That's why he always held an inane belief that his Space Marines were somehow so much better than other Space Marines, which still baffles me to this day. This is also why he sold his Eldar army a while back, because he just didn't get engrossed in their story or relate to any of the characters.

Where is the Love?
James continued telling me how I should never have sold my army and moved on to play other races, explaining "You liked playing them so much, that you didn't even care about 'being competitive' or if you lost."

And he's quite right. Although I spent a lot of time developing my own army list and a style of play that worked well for me rather than mimicking the tournament meta lists on the internet. So the competitive element was there. I wrote a really great post on why I love playing Tau a while back and in hindsight I should have stuck with the army for these reasons.

But only now that I'm tired of driving metal boxes across the board in a straight line, as fast as I can, and that I'm tired of ultra competitive 40K, have I realised my love for the hobby and what it means to create a completely unique army for yourself.

Finding the Love
I met James at the cafe for breakfast on Saturday. He was already there when I arrived; coffee in one hand, the new Necron Codex in the other and a greasy fried breakfast on the way.

"This is horrible!" he joyfully exclaimed as I sat down...and began reading all manner of nonsensical stuff from the new Necron Codex.

"So you're going to do Necrons?" I asked, feeling rather scornful at the sheer volume of disgusting rules he was reading out.

"I'm not sure," he answered. "I can't figure out a list yet and I want something that's characterful rather than just being all out competitive."

After a hearty fully English breakfast and a wander round Harlow town, we dropped into the local hobby shop so I could pick up a Warmachine starter box and took a look at the new Necron releases.

Tempted as he was, having read the new Necron Codex, James didn't buy anything. But when I remarked that the plastic Necron Overlord from the Command Barge boxed set reminded me of Skeletor, suddenly his interest for the new army was set in motion...

I think that we often need to see beyond what Games Workshop provide us with as the basis for an army. Some how we need to add our own inspirations and make an army our own. By including elements from years of playing Turrican, watching Transformers and various mecha anime shows, plus a little feudal Japan history and a Russian inspired military colour scheme (with orange stripes!) I got my Tau army -and they were brilliant!

What will James' Necrons be like? No doubt evil and maniacal if they're going to be led by Overlord Skeletor! I don't know about you guys, but I can't wait to see what he comes up with. But most importantly, he needs to love building, painting and playing his army. Then it doesn't matter if you win or lose, because you're enjoying the game and the story of a game -And that's what this hobby is really all about!

In the meantime, I'm getting some funky urban bases for my first batch of Tau Fire Warriors. Then I'll be continuing with my original Tau colour scheme of military green with orange stripes. It's just one of the many things I loved about my Tau army.

The Pursuit of Happiness

October 31, 2011 · 15 comments

This is a bit of a personal post about the pursuit of happiness in life and the hobby.

Normally I keep this kind of stuff to myself, but I have quite a bit to get off my chest as well as announcing the proper return of the Warhammer Tau blog. So please bear with me, because this will end on a very positive note.

Speaking of positivity, the United States Declaration of Independence has a wonderful phrase in it, "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", and I really wish we had something similar here in the UK. But the point is that I don't feel I've had any of these for the past year.

Work has been the main culprit. The job I loved ended suddenly and I took what I could for the next 6 months, which involved a lot of travel up North and staying on a little farm in the middle of the Cheshire countryside all week. So I didn't really get to see anyone or do anything during all that time.

Saturday was my only real day off because I was travelling from midday every Sunday, so I didn't get a whole lot of hobby time. I spent it doing my best to see friends and family instead. On the bright side, I enjoyed the job until my 6 months temporary contract ended.

Then, I landed what could have been my dream job, working for a big agency in Central London. However, what could have been an opportunity of a lifetime has turned into an absolute nightmare of 15 hour days and constructive grounds for dismissal. I tried to stick it out, hoping things would get better, but they only got worse. So much worse in fact that I was signed off by the doc for 2 weeks with work related stress (I thought it was a stomach bug!) and my family persuaded me to hand in my notice.

To top it all off, I have to give a 2 months notice period. But fortunately this has been effectively shortened by my 2 weeks sick and 1 week outstanding holiday. So that leaves me with 5 weeks left to work. But one thing's for sure, if they think I'm doing more than my proper 8 hour day, they can think again.

Competitive Play
While all this has been going on, writing the Space Wolves blog has been hard work this year. Playing in the few tournaments that James and I attended was hard work too. However, we did pick the toughest tournaments and trying to come in the top 5 again was rather ambitious.

I've often talked about James having a far more enjoyable tournament experience than myself because the mid-tables are his domain. Here he encounters all kinds of themed and beautiful armies.

Meanwhile I tend to claw my way to the top tables, then battle for all I'm worth against some of the ugliest armies to blight a gaming board.

It's just not as much fun and after having a wander around the hall at the recent Throne Of Skulls, I can see what kind of tournaments I'd rather be attending.

Ever since the GT we've only played a handful of games. 40K has really been lacking something of late and it's probably due to all the Space Marine armies. Or the simple fact that every half decent Space Wolves army is just Long Fangs backing up metal boxes full of Grey Hunters led by Rune Priests.

That said, we played a fantastic 6,000pts per side Dark Angels VS Space Wolves game with 6 players, which you'll see on the Space Wolves blog very soon!

But I'm definitely done playing the wolves and can't wait to return to the intensely tactical nature of the Tau Empire. The Tau are a truly unique force with a huge range of strategies which allow them to flow around the enemy like water and crash down upon them in a single wave focussed upon where they are weakest. And a brand new Codex in 2012 should make this possible once again.

Where I Am Now
Despite a rather dreadful year, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I'm currently interviewing for a job only half an hour from home which would be ideal and somehow I've found a wonderful girlfriend who is kind, supportive and doesn't seem to mind my hobby.

And of course, my favourite army in Warhammer 40K is soon to return!

I'm looking forward to getting the next 5 weeks out of the way, seeing friends, enjoying some home cooking, getting back into running and some kind of fitness regime. Plus I might even get around to painting some models, maybe even playing some games.

As for my Warhammer Tau blog, it probably won't be as in depth or as a serious as the Space Wolves blog. Instead I'm happy to mingle with the rest of the casual blogosphere, making the odd painting or conversion guide, tactica or batrep and generally immersing myself in what gives me pleasure in the hobby, but without the need for any kind of regularity or forward planning. This is meant to be fun after all!

Thanks for reading and I appreciate all your support -Adam

Tau in Q1 2012

October 21, 2011 · 7 comments

Rumour has it that Tau could be the next Warhammer 40K Codex to be released in Q1 of 2012...which isn't very far off at all!

We saw a new concept of battlesuit for Commander Farsight back in September 2009, along with a unit of Tau Pathfinders (sadly no photos available) which were some of the most highly detailed miniatures I'd seen in a long time.

So does this mean that Games Workshop been working on the Tau all this time? We had to wait YEARS for the plastic Daemon Prince kit to become available -and look at just how quickly the full Dark Eldar (and Necron) ranges have been created. I don't know about the Necrons, but in the Dark Eldar range, there is a massive amount of models.

Personally, I'm going to get ready for Tau some time in 2012 by building and painting all the units that I don't think will receive new models. So that's pretty much everything but the Crisis and Broadside battlesuits!

Then I'll be in a great position to build the new kits, including whatever new units become available. I'm hoping for many more battlesuit variants, as described in the Tau background from the 5th edition rulebook.

Start Building Your Tau Now!

October 19, 2011 · 3 comments

The time to start building Tau, Eldar or any other race in Warhammer 40K is right now. And I will explain why.

In part this relates to the Necron leak, which actually came from the printers that Games Workshop employs and has nothing to do with Beast of War or Wayland Games. They merely took an opportunity which has passed them by many times before and capitalised on it.

You may also remember the Grey Knights Codex being leaked on to the internet? This happened because Games Workshop was employing external games testers. Since the leaks, games testing has been brought back in house.

But wait! What kind of external games tester would 'okay' something as powerful as the Grey Knights Codex?

A Taste of Things to Come
Compare the Space Wolves, Imperial Guard, Blood Angels, Grey Knights and Dark Eldar Codex books and there is a clear trend. The armies are becoming far more individualistic with a diverse array of unit choices and weapons as well as unique rules.

So it's safe to say that once this new series of Codex books has spread to each race, no army will be quite the same.

Ironically, the lynch mob that gathered for Matt Ward following the Blood Angels and Grey Knights Codex books may soon herald him as the saviour of the game if this 'powerful' codex' trend is to continue, creating an equal playing field for all.

You may also be surprised to know that while the Grey Knights release was Games Workshop's biggest selling army ever, the Dark Eldar release was a close second. So the xenos races are still popular when they do get some attention from the games developers.

So What Does This All Mean for the Tau Empire?
Simply put, it means that when we do get a new Tau Codex, we can expect it to not only be awesome in terms of rules, tactics and weapons, but we can also expect a whole host of new units.

This is why I plan to start working on my Tau army right now. Then, by the time the new units are released, I can easily incorporate them into my existing army. And I will definitely magnetise all of the weapons on my Crisis and Broadside battlesuits this time!

40K 6th Edition: Rise of the Xenos

October 3, 2011 · 8 comments

James, Marc and I were chatting about the potential of Warhammer 40K 6th edition last night. Based on the rumours about strategic reserves, high speed vehicles being hard to hit, tanks being easy to hit and the overall toning down of cover saves, there would be some clear winners in the new rules.

Eldar, Dark Eldar and Tau were two armies which instantly sprang to mind due to their tactical flexibility and mobility. Charging forward screaming "SPESS MARHEENS!!" is getting old now. Even Marc is tired of his (frankly disgusting) Grey Knight Draigo Paladin army of doom.

The buzz about 6th edition seems to have died down lately, possibly as a result of GW tightening its grip on rumours and strategic leaks of information to whip the gaming community into a frenzy.

But let's consider for a moment what it would mean if cover saves were reduced to 5+ instead of 4+. Well for starters, we'd be able to kill things with shooting more effectively. Especially if they're tanks.

So right now a Land Raider packed full of Assault Terminators is sent speeding across the board. Everything bounces off it, misses or can't see it because of the smoke and terrain. Then the Terminators get out and every gun under the sun bounces off their armoured backsides and great big shields before they batter everything to death with enormous electrified hammers.

But what if you only need 2+ to hit that enormous monster of a tank?
What if the best cover save it can get is 5+?
Then the strategic arrival of a Hammerhead with a Rail Gun could easily take it out. Just like it was almost guaranteed to back in 4th edition.

Similarly, mobile armies could arrive from reserve, get the first shot in and nail an enemy tank just like that. That would dissuade army builds entirely of metal boxes that speed across the board.

In the meantime, we can only keep an eye out for the next edition and pray for something more tactical than the 'point-cost-efficiency' way of winning games...and a new Tau Codex of course!

Even though I've been playing Space Wolves for a few years now, I really miss my Tau.

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About Warhammer Tau

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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