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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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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