I plan on running an occasional gallery section featuring fan art.
First up we have some pictures by NachoMon. Please have a look at his DeviantArt gallery ad the has a lot of really nice 40K related artwork.
I plan on running an occasional gallery section featuring fan art.
I am putting together a couple of Battle reports at the moment (one I won and the other I got pasted), but in the mean time I found this on Deviant Art…
I don’t know if I would want my Hammerhead painted this way, but I like the oriental influence of this one, it fits well the Zen attitude of the Tau…
I found these yesterday, after following a link for the LAF forum.
I think I am definitely going to have to pinch this idea for my Kroot mercenary army!
For the full article you can look on here on the Warpstone Pile blog.
Basically, it is a Skink body, Kroot head and Genestealer claws.
Faeit212 posted a rumour on Friday that suggests that the new Tau codex is due to arrive in June 2013, with increased news and releases possibly starting in May.
I picked up a cheap DVD, Hunter Prey (actually in Poundland, everything is £1) over the weekend, it turned out to be a great little sci-fi movie, clearly made on a “micro budget”, but well worth picking up.
The main reason I am mentioning it here on Warhammer Tau is that the make-up design of the aliens in the film bares a strong resemblance to the Tau.
What do you think?
When Adam announced that he was moving on from the Tau (and this blog) and starting his new Eldar blog at first I was a little disappointed. I had been reading the blog for quite a while and it, in part, had helped me get back into 40K, and the Tau in particular. However, then I thought it might become an opportunity to give myself the push to really grow my Tau army and finally turn them into the efficient fighting force that I want them to be.
So who am I anyway? I have been collecting miniatures and gaming with them since the early 1980s, initially role playing and then drifting into wargaming. I think the first wargame I played was first edition Warhammer Fantasy Battles. After leaving Uni in the late 1980s I lost touch with the gaming side of things but I kept up with collecting minis. As such that meant I missed out on a lot of the early GW games. In the late 1990s I found a new gaming group and started wargaming again. Since then I it has become my main past-time, and occasional obsession! I had a large Empire army for Warhammer and I soon built a sizable Eldar army. My friends and I also gamed outwith the Games Workshop hobby, regularly playing Warzone and various historical wargames too.
However, my gaming group drifted away from GW and on to other things, both playing other systems and evenutally, as my family grew and free time became rare, we played more and more board games. For the past 5 or 6 years, although we all considered ourselves wargamers, in truth we were almost exclusively board gamers. Still, my lead and plastic mountain continued to grow and I had a real yearning to get some real wargaming done!
The fifth battle, between Del’s Eldar and my Tau, I will come back to in my next post, which will be a battle report.
It’s fair to say that my army building skills and also my strategy and tactics are proving to be very rusty, so I have started doing some heavy reading, re-familiarizing myself with all aspects of the Tau army. I am specifically looking for ways to give my Tau army a slightly better chance in close combat.
As for my plans for this blog? Initially, while I get up to speed I am looking for some articles on Tau background, and artwork. I will also be aiming to do a few articles on modelling, both the Tau and related scenic items. I will also be following the the growth of my Kroot Mercenary army, as I build and convert it (I love the figures and am therefore forced to ignore their ineffectual abilities on the battlefield). At the moment my gaming group have only just moved up to 40K version 5. But I hope to pick up a copy of 6th edition in the near future, not least as I have heard that they improve the Tau in many ways.
Model maker and sculptor extraordinaire, when not teaching others how to make models using a variety of manufacturing processes, Dave does a little laser cut model making himself and is currently goofing around with 3D printers.
Dave has never really stopped wargaming and now that his gaming group in Aberdeen have finally go their act together and started playing Warhammer 40K again, he's got plenty of incentive to start working on his Tau and Kroot again. And with fresh rumours of a new Tau Codex on the way, there's never been a better time to start building and painting an army.
So Adam shall leave you in the very capable hands of a veteran gamer, sculptor, terrain maker and painter as the Tau Empire prepares for the Fourth Sphere Expansion.
But if you need any allies, you can always find Adam at the Eldar Craftworld.
Good luck and keep your plasma rifles hot!
Even Eldrad and Teclis have the same pose! So as much as I enjoy playing Tau, I've decided to invest heavily in a beautiful Eldar army. One of the greatest difficulties in playing this hobby is just choosing an army and sticking to it.
As many of you know, I was also writing the Space Wolves blog for many years, which has a massive audience. But that audience could never compare to you guys who always commented on my articles here at Warhammer Tau. You made this tiny space of the web, often neglected, really feel like home. If anyone would like to take command of the Warhammer Tau blog to continue my work, please get in touch via My Google+ Page Thank you for all your kinds words and support over the years. And please come visit me at my new Eldar blog.
August 17, 2012
Tau are back baby!
And they are brutal in 6th edition 40K thanks to being able to move and fire their Pulse Rifles at full range, having Rapid Fire improved to 15" and the new Pre-Measuring rules. Not to mention that Stealth Suits and Shield Drones got a boost.
But best of all, we don't need Kroot to make up our numbers and we can Glance vehicles to death!
So let's do a quick run down of all the units that became awesome and why we don't need those Kroot in our Empire anymore.
Playing Tau is all about getting distances right - just right!
Now that we can pre-measure whatever we like, whenever we like, our jump-shoot-jump strategies are better than ever, because we can't get caught out by poor range guessing.
Meanwhile, we can use the range of our guns to a real advantage by killing everything we shoot at or falling back JUST out of range so we can't be hurt back.
Due to the new wound allocation rules, whenever a unit is hit, you keep taking hits on the nearest model with a different armour save until they fail, then wounds get passed on to be saved by models further back. So no more pelting Crisis Teams with Krak Missiles and killing them all with the 5th edition Wound Allocation. Instead each missile has to get through the 4+ invulnerable Shield Drone until it's dead. This greatly improves the survivability of Battlesuits. Similiarly, having a whole squadron of Valkyrie Vendettas firing 9 twin-linked Lascannons at a Broadside Team will no longer assure their destruction either....provided you can roll above average on all those 4+ invulnerable saves of course. So expect to take as many Shield Drones as you can for your Battlesuits.
Now that you can kill vehicles with glancing hits and the cover saves for all models got reduced, Tau Crisis Suits can go back to bringing the Plasma pain to Space Marines more effectively while their Missile Pods can make a mess of Rhinos and anything up to Armour 13. Now those desperate glancing hits are damaging glancing hits! Meanwhile the 2D6 Jet Pack move in the Assault Phase allows Crisis Suits to fall back faster than before and out of harm's way.
Now that the Preffered Enemy rules have changed to rerolling all 1's to Hit from both shooting as well as close combat, sending your blessed spiritual leader out to get his head blown off has never been so much fun. I don't think it's really in the spirit of The Greater Good, but what the heck, he's only 50pts. Totally worth it to give Preffered Enemy to your whole army - provided they don't run off the board!
Speaking of Crisis Suits and Preffered Enemy, there's always Commander Farsight. And when accompanied by his 'Crisis Suit mob' can really bring the pain for all the same reasons that Crisis Suits are awesome again.
Not only that, but he gives his entire army Preffered Enemy against Orks. Get ready for some outright massacres against Ork armies with Farsight in charge.
And don't forget that all of his Bodyguard are champions due to their rank in the Tau army. So any 6's to hit can be allocated wherever you want them on an enemy squad - nasty!
Like Crisis Suits, Stealth Suits can use their Jet Packs to fall back 2D6. But best of all, their Stealth Generators now give them a constant 4+ cover save thanks to Shrouding and Stealth. So put them in cover and they get a 2+ cover save, which makes them incredibly hard to kill.
And thanks to the new Dangerous Terrain rules, jumping into cover isn't the 1 in 6 risk it used to be, because you get your regular armour saves against it. And with 3+ armour, the Stealth Teams really have nothing to worry about there.
Being able to walk around with a range 30", Strength 5 gun is amazing. Being able to Rapid Fire it from 15" away is even more amazing.
People are already taking teams of 12 Firewarriors on foot for massed firepower. All you need to do is premeasure to make sure that you can move into range and cut down the first rank of an enemy squad with range 24" weapons so that even if they advance 6", they will still be out of range by 1". Rinse and repeat. It's dirty and you'll love it.
The Rail Gun has once again become king of the heavy weapons thanks to the reduction in cover save levels. Give your Broadsides Black Sun Filters and you're laughing while the enemy can't see a thing in the dark.
People have also taken to fielding Broadsides with twin linked Plasma Rifles instead of their Smart Missile Systems.
Frankly, there's nothing like having 3 Broadsides march up and rapid fire a Space Marine squad. Also, it tends to dissuade people from wanting to charge the in the first place when their Overwatch fire is going to be particularly deadly.
Orks, Orks, Orks, Orks!
Kroot are a thing of the past. For the same points you can buy Ork allies. Orks are tough, numerous and come with shootas and rokkits or big shootas. So instead of running the usual maxed out Kroot mobs, I can see many Tau players taking an Ork Big Mek with Kustom Force Field and 2 mobs of Shoota Boyz instead.
And that's before you consider all the fun stuff like a Warboss leading Biker Nobz, or adding things like Lootas and Dakka Jets to your allied forces.
I don't think anyone expected 6th edition to breathe new life into our poor battered and bruised Tau Empire, but it has.
Yes, our tanks got screwed a little, because now all skimmers get a 5+ jink save if they're moving 12". You could save 5pts on Distruption Pods, but I'd still take them for a constant 4+ save. Also, if the first turn is Night Fighting, let's see someone try and take out your tanks from over 24" away with a 2+ cover save. See, they're still totally worth it.
In the meantime we can continue looking to the horizon for a new Tau Codex.
We know that there's a Fortification and a Flyer on the way, so who knows what else is in the pipeline for the Tau Empire?
June 27, 2012
The complete walkthrough to Super Dungeon Explore. This guide explains how to best use all the heroes, monster, treasure cards and tile sections to not only have a great game, but have a brutal one too!
As you guys know, ever since I got my copy cheap from Wayland Games when it first came out, I've always love a bit of Super Dungeon Explore to break up playing 40K all the time. And as a big fan of board games I took a month of Sundays to paint my set to a high standard.
But now, having played over two dozen games of Super Dungeon Explore, I'm ready to share my secrets and help you create the best party of heros possible, whether you're playing a 3 or a 5 hero game.
Generally we always play a 3 hero game, because a 5 hero game takes too damned long! In fact, even the 3 hero game takes about 3 hours to play - which is a shame because some heroes are only good in a 5 hero party.
The Royal Paladin
Everyone takes the Paladin because he's an all round fighter, but most importantly he's a great healer. First of all, he has the Healer skill, which gives him 2 hearts for each heart rolled on a successful attack. Meanwhile his potion heals 3 wounds and 3 negative status effects, making him a real life saver.
His Iron Halo ability also boosts the armour of those around him while his Smite attack is great for inflicting damage and setting multi-wound enemies on fire!
The Hearthsworn Fighter
The Dwarf is a close combat monster. He's strong, he's tough and with his Cleave ability, he can slay up to 9 enemies in a single turn! He also has 6 wounds, making him highly resilient.
Give this man a Green attack dice (and some Red ones!) and watch him butcher everything in his path. If you can give him some armour boosts as well, the dungeon master will have to simply keep their evil minions away from him altogether.
He has a Dwarfen Curse ability, but we've never had much luck with it. His potion is confusing and a bit rubbish too -which is why we always give him the Dragon's Blood potion. He can easily take the wound after drinking it and the +1 Red attack dice usually helps him to not only win the lost wound back, but butcher a whole bunch of bad guys as well!
The Ember Mage
She takes a little getting used to, but the Ember Mage's extra potion slot and high Will characteristic will quickly make you realise why she's so good.
Because you have to roll for the first activation each round using the highest Will amongst your models, having 2 Red Will dice will pretty much ensure that you always get the first activation - which is really important in this game.
And because the Mage's attacks are all magical and based on Will, you simply give her all of the Will based magic items. Soon her attacks will be devastating and with the Fire Wave spell, she can just walk into the thick of the enemy and incinerate everyone around her. And if that doesn't finish them off, all her magic attacks set things on fire too!
The Glimmerdusk Ranger
We just call her The Elf or The Archer, but in the same way that the Mage runs on Will upgrades, the Elf runs on Dexterity upgrades. This is because you need Dexterity for your shooting attacks and that's what the Archer is best at.
Her potion is okay. But her ability to remedy everything within a few squares is a great way to remove negative status effects from the party -especially if everyone is on fire!
Her best ranged attack is called Sparkle Burst and it's an area of effect attack that can remove up to 9 tightly packed monsters with relative ease.
But as pretty as the Elf is, she isn't a patch on the Mage overall.
The Claw Tribe Barbarian
We call her Barb. The Barbarian is much like the Dwarf in that she's a close combat monster and with 2 Red attack dice right from the start, you'd expect nothing less.
If she goes Beserk, she can strike a monster every time she moves. So with a movement of 6, this means she can slay up to 6 monsters in a single turn. Her potion also gives her Backlash, so any armour saves made allow her to instantly inflict a wound upon her attacker. This is particular effective if you give the potion to another hero with a high armour value.
The problem with Barb is that's she's ferocious, but she's poorly armoured and as a result, she's very vulnerable to having her head kicked in - even if she has the Tough skill and regenerates 1 wound every turn.
We always take the Dwarf instead. He can kill more and can take a beating at the same time. It's a shame, because the Barbarian is a very pretty model.
The Deeproot Druid & Angry Bear
We're not a fan of the Druid, but everyone loves the Big Gay Bear! Well, that's what the guys call him anyway. The Druid is okay, but like the Paladin he's just an all rounder with no specialist function...until he turns into the Angry Bear.
Angry Bear on the other hand is a well armoured, close combat monster! He can also Bear Hug enemies, making them Immobile and Weak, which has often helped in the boss fights at the end of the game. Meanwhile the Healing Berries potion that both Druid and Bear give all heroes the Healer skill for the round.
Considering the carnage that the Angry Bear will unleash, this is definitely a good potion to have and may even tempt you to swap out the Paladin from the party in favour of your big furry friend.
The only downside to the Angry Bear is his size. This can make is difficult to move him around terrain. Meanwhile, he's likely to get surrounded by monsters and killed if you're not careful. So don't use him to lead the charge, instead get him to mop up enemies on the flank instead.
The Hexcast Sorceress
The de-buffer, the Sorceress excels at weakening enemies and her magical shooting attacks aren't bad either. Like the Mage she thrives on Will upgrades to boost her magical powers and attacks. But while she's awesome at bringing down the Bosses, when it comes to killing hordes of Kobolds and baby Dragons, she's somewhat lacking.
Definitely a choice for a 5 hero party.
The Riftling Rogue
We love the Daemonkin Rogue! Unfortunately, she can be a bit fiddly to play for the amateur super dungeon explorer because she has so many rules. But once you master her, she's a worthy addition to any 5 hero team.
Like the Glimmerdusk Ranger, the Rogue thrives from Dexterity boosts. This is because she has the Dodge skill, which allows her to use Dexterity instead of army to resist an attack. But what makes her really brilliant is her Backstab attack, which adds +1 Green dice to her attack dice pool and it also inflicts 2 wounds!
On top of that, she can saw potions for hearts and hearts for potions as she rolls them.
Meanwhile her potion allows a model to Teleport 10 squares within line of sight.
And last, but not least, when opening Treasure Chests she draws 2 cards and picks the best one.
All these abilities make the Riftling Rogue brilliant for character assassinations, running away and finding the best Treasure cards for the rest of your party.
However, she can't slug it out in the thick of the fighting and she often struggles to slay many monsters in each phase. So due to her lack of horde killing power, she''s best taken as part of a 5 hero team.
The Best Super Dungeon Explore Team
Who is the team supreme? Well, in my experience it's the Royal Paladin, Hearthsworn Fighter and the Ember Mage. All 3 compliment each other perfectly. The Dwarf does most of the close combat fighting, the Paladin heals and mops up while the Mage makes sure the heroes always go first while providing some ranged attacks before getting in close and casting Fire Wave to get rid of mobs of monsters. Plus, the Mage and the Dwarf seems to have trouble in take out the Dragon.
This is because the Dwarf takes all the Attack and Armour boosts while the Mage takes all the Will boosts. Meanwhile the Paladin just heals everyone while being fed lots of potions by the other two heroes.
If you want to go up to 5 heroes (and be in for a much longer game), then I'd recommedn the Riftling Rogue to hunt down the best Treasure and finish off any baddie characters with a Backstab, as well as the Deeproot Druid & Angry Bear for some close combat insanity and a potion that gives the whole party Healer for the round to make sure no one ever dies.
There are numerous baddies in Super Dungeon Explore, each with their own funky abilities that when used together effectively can spell doom for our heroes. However, because they tend to die in droves, a dungeon master should never get too attached to them -they are expandable after all!
Ah, those cowardly Kobolds! Able to move a whopping 7 squares and Mob up, they can cause real problems for our heroes, especially when the Iron Scale is there to boost everyone's armour while the Dragon Priest boost all their Attacks. Kobolds work best in a big mob, which is why it can be wise for them all to run away until they can mass a big enough horde to tackle the heroes with.
Flinger - keep them back, keep them throwing things at the heroes. You'll set them on fire with your Hot Pot attack soon enough!
Knucklehead - Surround a hero with as many as you can and watch those Blue attack dice stack up as you Mob them.
Gouger - get these to stand behind the Knuckleheads, or around the heroes, so they can poke heroes with their pokey stick! Once again, watch the Blue attack dice stack up as you Mob the heroes.
Iron Scale - get one of these in amongst the Knuckleheads to effectively 'lead' them and use his Shield Wall skill to boost the armour of the Knuckleheads. This will make them much harder for the heroes to wipe out.
Dragon Priest - always spawn a Dragon Priest at the start of the game, because he can challenge the heroes when it comes to rolling for Will and taking the first turn.
While he can boost the Attacks of all Kobolds within 5 squares, I tend to leave him until the last round of activation, because he costs a lot of skulls to activate.
Then he can use his Will to cast 3 magical shooting attacks at the heroes, which usually does quite a bit of damage.
Best of all, the Dragon Priest has 3 wounds, which makes him a real nuisance! Just watch out for Fire attacks, because smart heroes tend to wound him once, then leave him to burn for a couple of turns.
The Kobold Ogre
Rex the Kobold Ogre is a complete push over -provided he doesn't have a horde of Kobolds to Mob up with and you've optimised all your heroes properly! Rex is tough for the dungeon master to use, because he's on a big base and he's relatively slow. However, he does make up for this with his Reach of 2 and his REX SMASH! attack. This allows him to reach over a wall of Kobolds and batter the heroes to his evil heart's content.
Rex also has a Thwomp attack, that knocks a hero back 5 squares, which is okay, but nothing to really write home about. Meanwhile Rex Cuddle makes a hero Weak and Immobile -which is perfect if the Dwarf is carving great big chunks out of poor old Rex and he needs to put a stop to it for a turn.
Just remember that because Rex is a Kobold Ogre, he benefits from all the stuff that boosts regular Kobolds. So use him together with his little cousins, because on his own he's easy fodder for the heroes.
The Baby Dragons
Aww, the Baby Dragons are so cute! But they're deadly too, which is why the heroes always seem to take out their Spawning Point first.
What the Baby Dragons lack in armour, they make up for in Attacks, because almost all of them have 2 Blue and 1 Red attack dice.
They're all simple to use, but the Hatchlings require the help of their larger brothers to Knockdown heroes so that they can get the +1 Red attack dice.
So while a dungeon master doesn't need to coordinate these creatures are cleverly as the Kobolds, they're not as survivable in a frontal attack. It's best to use them to attack from the flanks on the Kobold horde instead.
Starfire The Dragon
Once the power gauge reaches its climax and Starfire The Dragon appears, this is when shit gets real for the heroes!
With 8 wounds (in two 4 wound stages), powerful attack and very tough armour, Starfire is incredibly tough to fight -and many adventures have ended shortly after the Dragon Boss has arrived.
This is because you need 2 things to beat Starfire: Good healing and a Green attack dice.
If you haven't picked up a Green attack dice Treasure item for a close combat hero or plenty of Red dice (or a Green dice) for a Will based hero, then you're going to struggle to hurt Starfire.
If you have, then happy day! You just need plenty of healing to keep your heroes alive, because Starfire can really dish out the damage with 4 Action Points per turn.
Plus, if a Spawn Point is still active (and often it is), then Starfire gets to activate twice per round. Owch!
Remember, you just need to inflict 4 wounds to make it go away! Usually this takes 2-3 turns. So for example, I'll have the Emmber Mage boosted like crazy with Will increases. She'll blast Starfire with a Magna Blast shooting attack, followed by a regular shooting attack while the Dwarf goes forward into close combat to try and wound it (and probably take a beating), while the Paladin finishes off any straggling baddies and heals everyone with potions from afar...while praying that the Dwarf and Mage generate some potions (as well as hearts) from their successful attacks.
Once Starfire takes 4 wounds, she drops a clutch of Baby Dragons and flies off, but will come back very quickly.
Now is the time for your heroes to butcher the baby dragons quickly try to earn as many hearts and potions as possible, then finish off Starfire when she comes back for another go.
I wish you the best of luck with this, because you're gonna need it! However, if the game has dragged on for quite some time (3+ hours), we tend to end it as soon as Starfire has taken 4 wounds. Because you know whether you're going to win it or not based on the success of the first encounter.
SDE House Rules
Because Super Dungeon Explore can take a long time to play, we've streamlined the rules a little to speed things up.
First of all, whenever the Dwarf makes his Cleave attack, we roll a single set of dice, then apply it to all models hit.
Similarly, when a hero makes an area of effect shooting attack, like the Ember Mage's Fire Wave or the Ranger's Sparkle Burst, we roll a single set of dice, then apply it to all models hit.
It massively speeds up the game, rather than having to roll, roll, roll for all the different monsters.
We also don't tend to bother with Smoke much, because we found that it didn't really seem to help the heroes or the Kobolds. Plus it slowed down the game with way too much dice rolling.
Super Dungeon Explore is a brilliant board game that I will always treasure. I like it so much that I spent monthly painting all the miniatures and bought some Battlefoam trays to keep it all safely stored away.
Meanwhile, if you want to buy the game cheap, get it from Wayland Games who seem to hold more stock than anyone else, which is important because this game does tend to sell out very quickly.
As much as I love the game, I'm not in a hurry to buy the expansions, because I can't see how they can really add anything to the basic set up. So I would recommend just buying the basic board game and sticking with that. After all, there's plenty to paint in here as it is.
Speaking of which, painting this set was a real pleasure. My friend Dave showed me how to paint the heroes initially, because this was a completely new approach to painting for me. As a result, I've learned a heck of a lot. Meanwhile Dave loved painting the different heroes because their colour schemes are all so varied.
For example, I used a High Elf kind of colour scheme on the Royal Paladin. Meanwhile Dave used a Slaaneshi Daemonette style scheme on the Daemonkin Rogue and a Wood Elf scheme on the Elf Ranger. Finally, I tried some funky new shading techniques on the Dragons to make them look a little more 'fiery'. But as you can tell, we had a lot of fun painting these models and even more fun when we sat down to play our first fully painted game.
Anyway, I hope this guide to Super Dungeon Explore Tactics has been helpful, and please share it around the web. Because it's a tricky game to master and from what I've read online, some people need all the help they can get when it comes to beating the bosses!
February 27, 2012
Warhammer Tau is preparing for the fourth sphere expansion of the Tau Empire and will be bringing you the very best in conversion guides, painting tutorials, battle reports, army lists and tactics once the new Tau Empire Codex is released.
Not only that, but we'll be integrating Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and even a regular Tau Empire podcast to offer you the ultimate Warhammer 40K Tau resource across every form of consumable digital medium imaginable!
How am I going to do all this? Well, that'd be telling! But as many of you know that I work in SEO and digital marketing for a living, I felt this would be a great opportunity to try out some fresh new creative concepts that no one seems to have done yet.
So stay tuned for lots of exciting stuff from your favourite Tau blog. And of course, don't forget to Spread The Word among your fellow Tau players.
In the meantime, Warhammer Tau will continue to keep you up to date with all the real rumours about the next Tau Empire Codex.
February 24, 2012
Zone Mortalis could be the best Warhammer game expansion yet, basically by bringing plenty of line-of-sight blocking terrain to the game as well as a number of fun space cruiser boarding action rules into play.
Personally, ever since the 3rd War For Armageddon campaign Games Workshop ran some 10 years ago, which included a battle report of Black Templars fighting their way through an Ork infested Space Hulk, this kind of close quarters wargame has been something that I have always craved.
As for playing Tau in Zone Mortalis, bringing focussed firepower to bear is more important than ever.
But let's not forget that Smart Missile Systems on our Broadside Battlesuits do not require line of sight! So as a Defender, you could sit their with 3 units of Broadsides and just pelt everyone with as many Smart Missiles as possible.
Another thing I like about Zone Mortalis is that the game is infantry based, which makes for a much more fun and tactical game.
So driving metal boxes towards one another is no longer an option, cos you can't have them!
Warhammer 40K becomes so much more interesting at squad level and I really do hope that vehicles take a bit of a beating in the next edition so that the squads can really shine once again.
Mind you, Tau Crisis suits are going to be pretty disgusting, being able to Jump around a corner, unload with their Plasma Rifles and Missile Pods, then Jump back behind cover in the Assault phase, as they were always intended to.
Am I going to buy Zone Mortalis? For £98 you get a 4x4 gaming board with lots of gothic walls to assemble paint.
But what's to really stop me from making my own terrain for this game? Only time, imagination and my resources.
Ork and Tyranids players are going to be throwing together whole gaming boards very easily, because it doesn't matter if theirs are messy. Tau, Eldar, Space Marines and Imperial Guard may have a tought time creating something suitably fitting for the Warhammer 40K universe. But perhaps you could do it with rocks, dense jungle or even a Necrontyr labyrinth?
So there's plenty of scope to build your own Zone Mortalis board quite cheaply.
Anyway, you can get the Zone Mortalis Rules here and start playing.
February 22, 2012
This week I donated my spare Orks to Marquee Models in Harlow. As my local gaming store, I've been dropping in for years, talking nonsense and often leaving without buying much more than a paintbrush or perhaps a pot of paint.
So while having a clear out on Sunday and lugging a huge bin bag full of DVDs down to CEX, I thought I'd take along the Orks too and see if Keith wanted to give them a good home.
Next thing I knew, they were out of the box and straight into the glorified and spot lit Miniatures Cabinet.
On a side note, I got £40 for just over 40 DVDs at CEX, which was much better than trying to sell all my second hand goods on eBay. Once you take eBay fees, Paypal fees and postage costs into account, as well as the hassle of packing and posting everything off, driving to my local CEX seems like a great alternative.
I was happy to donate the Orks for the same reason. It just seemed so much better to simply give them to a good home.
I know they'll be abused by small children learning Warhammer 40K, but what the heck.
February 20, 2013
Having used the Army Painter system on my Iron Warriors army, I felt it was time for a review.
Now, the purpose of building this army was to have a fully painted army done quickly, purely to play games while I take my time to beautifully paint my Tau and High Elves. So quality wasn't so much of an issue as getting it all done quickly.
However, I have been surprised by the results and just how good the miniatures look once they have been shaded. However, there are also some unpleasant surprises which I will describe in detail to prevent you from making the same mistakes.
Army Painter Spray
I used the Army Painter 'Plate Mail Metal' silver spray to base colour the whole army and did it one huge toxic session. Having sprayed 55 infantry and 6 tanks I still had half a can left!
It dried incredibly quickly and left a slightly rough surface. However, when it came down to painting on the basic colours, I hit a problem. Unless the paint was fairly dry, it would run straight off. As someone who tends to water down their paints, this was a bit of a problem, although two thin coats, or just 1 thick coat seemed to do the job alright. GW Foundation Paints stuck to the silver basecoat perfectly fine, which was a relief.
However, I've be concerned about painting neat models like Eldar using Army Painter. Looking beaten up and patchy is perfectly fine for Chaos, Space Marines, Orks and Imperial Guard.
Army Painter Dark Tone Quick Shade Dip
I dipped the whole army in yet another highly toxic session. After all, that it what this stuff is intended for.
I follow the Army Painter guide and grabbed the base of a model with a pair of pliers, dipped it in the pot of Dark Tone and gave the model five good shakes to get rid of any excess dip. Bad idea! Not only did I flick goo up myself, the model was still dripping in dip.
I found it was easy to hold the models by their base and simply dunk them in up to their feet. Then I held the model over the pot of dip for a few minutes as it drained off. I then stood each model to one side on a bit of old wood that I didn't mind getting dip on.
1 Week later I came back to collect them and the shading effect was simply amazing! Honestly, I can not recommend the shading enough if you want quick and easy results.
However, some of the obliterators had black blobs hanging from the underside of their huge guns. Meanwhile others were 'swimming' in dip which had leaked down on to their bases.
It was only later I was advised by another user of Quick Shade to only ever paint the dip on and use a bit of white spirit to water it down and stop it from blobbing. Oh well...
I then proceeded to get a great big brush and slap Dark Tone on the Rhinos, which turned out great as well. Although I feel that they would have looked even better had I covered them in skulls, chains, spikes and chaotic bits beforehand. The Quick Sjade seems to bring very detailed miniatures to life far better than simple ones. Still, the tanks look suitably dirty and oily to fit in with the rest of the army.
Army Painter Black Flock
Following the Army Painter guide, I now flocked the bases of all the models using a paintbrush and some PVA glue and their Black Pre-Painted Flock.
Pre-Painted my arse! It looks as though they bought some cheap model railway track ballast and quickly sprayed in black.
I really should water down some Black Paint and go over it, then drybrush it two shades of grey, but I can't be bothered. And that kind of defeats the whole 'quick and easy' purpose of Army Painter if you ask me.
Army Painter Anti-Shine Matt Varnish
But if there's one Army Painter product I cannot complain about, it's their Anti-Shine Matt Varnish. It works and like their undercoat spray, there is loads of it in the can, presenting very good value compared to the other spray matt varnishes on the market.
However, after spray varnishing my army some of the bases went a bit funny. I think this is from layering up silver spray, a lot of dip and then varnish on a flat surface, because the surface started cracking in places. It seems like the GW Chaos Black paint simply can't stick to the silver spray undercoat, even after being varnished.
It seems okay for now, but I may have to scrape the paint off the edge of the bases with a knife and apply a dark grey Foundation Paint instead which should stick to the basecoat without cracking and peeling off.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but considering there are so few Army Painter reviews on the web and I was pressed for time, I had to dive right in.
Luckily I don't really care about the army too much, otherwise I'd be very upset at how the bases turned out, because while they're not obvious until you have a closer inspection, it's just a shame when the army turned out so much better than expected.
If I was to paint another Warhammer 40K army using the Army Painter system, I'd do 2 things differently.
1) I'd still dip the models, but I'd have a brush handy to remove any excess dip
2) I would mount them all on scenic resin bases instead of using flock
There are two reasons for this last one. First of all, the Army Painter flock is expensive and rubbish. Secondly, because of the way that the dip runs down the model and on to the base, it makes sense to have a scenic base that you can dip as well. That way you can paint the bases along with the models, dip them and you're done. It sure beats flocking the models, painting the flock, then adding grass, snow or winter tufts.
So if you're building a big army, or you simply suck at painting, then Army Painter is a brilliant solution which I would recommend. You just need to be aware of the potential problems you might face. But if I ran a painting service, I'd definitely use it on all of my clients' armies.
February 17, 2012
Do you feel that Warhammer 40K has lost its way lately?
First we had the Grey Knights obliterating everything, then 6th edition rumours, then Tau rumours and then... maddening silence.
Suddenly Tyranid Tervigons and Space Wolves Thunder Wolf Cavalry are rumoured for release in March...when just a few weeks back it was supposedly Tyranids 2nd wave and Necrons 2nd wave.
The Games Workshop iron curtain has certainly left the community in confusion. And to make matters worse, 40K seems to be in limbo right now.
Half the armies are struggling, everything is power armour is unstoppable (unless you're Chaos) and rumours have been flying thick and fast about 6th edition. So just what the hell is going on?
While a new edition will hopefully remedy a lot of the current Codex issues, it's the waiting that's difficult.
And from the looks of things we have to wait until Summer and 6th edition before we can take the game seriously again.
This week I have been mostly playing Super Dungeon Explore!
The rulebook is baffling, but having played through it a few times, it all makes a kind of sense. Kind of.
But the biggest selling point of this game is how the characters level up using coloured dice. Of course, if you get your hands on a Green Die for your attacks early on, you just butcher everything. So far the heroes have gained the best Loot and Treasure cards each game while the monsters have gained mediocre cards. God help the heroes if the monsters ever ended up with Loot that gave them a Green Die for their Armour or Attacks! It's going to happen eventually though. Perhaps the dungeon master will have the decency to discard that one? It is meant to be a fun game where the part of heroes win after all!
Super Dungeon Explore Heroes
Apart from the Sorceress, all the characters are pretty awesome and very straightforward to use despite their plethora of abilities.
The Paladin is a must have because of his 3 Healing,
The Dwarf is just a monster killing machine thanks to 'Cleave'.
The Barbarian is another monster killing machine.
The Elf Archer is alright for mopping up.
The Amber Mage is pretty good for clearing out corridors.
The Demonkin Rogue is great for grabbing treasure chests.
As for the Druid, his use isn't so clear apart from when he turns into the Angry Bear and unleashes all kinds of mayhem. Only problem with Angry Bear is the base size, which makes him easy for the monster to target, so he does take a serious beating.
The Sorceress is good for the Dragon, but so far the heroes haven't had any trouble simply carving through everything in their path!
My Super Dungeon Explore Party
I always take the Paladin, the Dwarf, the Barbarian, the Rogue and the Mage to embark on a quest of pure destruction.
I've got 4 fighters and 1 shooter.
The Dwarf butchers anything tightly packed together while the Barbarian runs around and carves up any enemies which are well spaced out. Meanwhile the Paladin cleans up and heals, the Rogue cleans up and grabs treasure or takes down anything on 2 Wounds. Finally, the Mage carries 2 potions for extra healing and provides some much needed long ranged support for any more clustered enemies.
Personally, I found the Angry Bear to be too much of a liability due to his size. And the Sorceress can't do much until the monsters have levelled up or the Dragon has appeared. So why bother having her when you need to keep killing to keep drawing Loot cards?
Super Dungeon Explore Battlefoam
On a related note, my Super Dungeon Explore Battlefoam trays came in the post. But there's just 1 problem. While all the models fit in, the board sections do not fit inside the box along with all the foam trays!
So now I need a sturdy cardboard box of some kind to keep the Super Dungeon Explore box in and the board sections on top of it too. Not impressed.
Either way, I'm looking forward to playing more games of Super Dungeon Explore and eagerly await the first expansion set. Hopefully they will include an updated version of the rulebook with it as well.
February 13, 2013
Rapid fire weapons are rumoured to get a welcome boost in 6th edition by enabling units to remain stationary and fire twice at full range and to move and fire once at full range in addition to being able to move and shoot twice at short range.
Obviously, this is an instant bonus for Fire Warriors. Now a small squad of 6 objective grabbers can sit tight and put out 12 Strength 5 shots. And that's not bad at all. But what about our beloved Tau Battlesuits?
Well, thanks to their Jet Packs, Crisis Suits are able to move and fire any weapons they have without penalty because they are Relentless.
So let's apply the rumoured Rapid Fire rules to their Plasma Rifles. Now our Plasma Rifles can always fire twice at range 24". No longer would we have to risk out Crisis Battlesuits to get the best out of our Plasma Rifles. We could just sit back 24" and enjoy 2 shots from each of our Plasma Rifles. Not bad eh?
I feel that 6th edition could bring many new and exciting options for the Tau Empire. Yes, we need a new Codex. Yes, our units are quite expensive compared to everyone else. But the fluid nature of the Tau army enables us to develop serious strategies which can capitalise on the rumoured new Reserves rules .
So before we all start praying for a new Tau Empire Codex, what we really need in the short term is a new Warhammer 40K edition. Here's hoping for the launch of 6th edition and the return of the Tau.
February 2, 2012
Warhammer Tau sat on the fence while the Tau rumours were flying thick and fast. Unsurprisingly, it all turned out to be a load of rubbish based on conversions, wild speculation and wish listing -just as I had said all along!
But what does this mean for the Tau now? On the bright side, it means that we potentially have a whole year to build our armies!
Could you honestly say that if a new Codex landed tomorrow that you'd be able to build, paint and play all the new releases? Of course not. And that's why I'd say that waiting is a good thing.
After all, you simply need to look at the trends in the latest Codex books to see which direction the game and the armies are taking in general to get a feel or what might come further down the round.
Right now I see a lot of complaints that Tau struggle to hold objectives. This has always been true. Yet, their background never indicates the need to claim static objectives. The fluid tactics of their Hunter Cadres are focussed on mobility and dispersal before delivering the killing blow -usually with lots of Crisis Battlesuits.
I also see a lot of competitive players creating Tau armies in this way with minimal troops and maximum battlesuits with the intention of blasting the enemy off the board.
I have even heard claims that missile pod spam gives Grey Knights a good run for their money. It seems that the traditional Tau tactic of popping all the transports before falling back while gunning down the infantry with basic weapons will never go out of fashion.
Stunning strategies aside, Blood Angels are still a problem with their Feel No Pain saves all over the place. But who knows what 6th edition will bring? We will only know once we start playing it.
January 23, 2012
Check out the top 5 Tau battlesuit conversions before you start chopping up your battle suits and see what kind of ideas you can use for your own Tau army.
It was too difficult to order the best Tau battle suit conversions from 1 to 5, so we'll start with the most influential conversion and take it from there.
Tael's battlesuit conversions are what inspired so many of us to start converting our Crisis and Broadside battlesuits in the first place.
It all started with an alternative head design which has almost become the standard alternative head for everyone's battlesuit conversions.
Meanwhile the addition of knee pads, chest armour and extra details carefully cut from Space Marine and Tau weapons, accessories and vehicle parts make this an incredible neat and detailed conversion which stands apart boldly from the regular Crisis Battlesuit kit. In the multi-tracker on the left shoulder pad has been subtly modified.
Old Shatter Hands
Like myself, Old Shatter Hands has taken inspiration from Tael's work and developed the designs further.
In this case, his Fire Knife Commander "Old Shatter Hands" has hands made from Space Marine power fists, additional leg armour from Space Marine lascannon shields and a missile pod which is actually a Space Marine hunter-killer missile.
Tau and Space Marine technology seems to work together exceptionally well when it comes to Tau battlesuit conversions. Although it's surprising that more people haven't emulated the use of Power Fists for battlesuit hands or the hunter-killer missile as a substitute for missile pods.
Of course, if you have friends who collect Space Marines, now is a good time to ask them for all those hunter-kill missiles they will probably never use!
Tau Sniper Suit
Created by Fil Dunn of the 'Eavy Metal team, this Tau sniper suit Broadside conversion inspired many people to place a single railgun in the hands of their Broadside battlesuits. Or to attempt the conversion at least, which is a lot harder than it looks!
The crouching legs were mostly scratch built with plasticard and plastic piping. Meanwhile the railgun is made from a single metal railgun with a shield generator stuck on the side and a modified plasma rifle stuck on top as a scope, along with some extra details for good measure.
The shoulders, head and other small details haven't been adopted by our community of battlesuit converters, but Fil was very brave to attempt something so different from the norm. However, his later conversions tended to stick more closely to the typical Tau technological aesthetics.
Another of Fil Dunn's creations, this is actually the second Tau titan he created using parts from Tau Piranhas, Hammerheads and a Stealth Suit torso for the head!
You can play 'spot the conversion parts' all day with this one, from the Ion Cannon fuel cells for knees to the Hammerhead Targeting Array positioned above the twin linked rail guns.
While this conversion has also been imitated, you'd have to be very brave or skilled to attempt this one.
Iridium Armour Battlesuit
Bulked out with plasticard to create iridium armour for a 2+ save, this battlesuit conversion features an Imperial Guard Autocannon under slung beneath the right arm and an under slung Cyclic Ion Blaster made from a trimmed down Hammerhead Burst Cannon with replaced barrels and two ammo magazines from Space Marine Assault Cannons.
However, the real wonder of this conversion is how plasticard has been used (as well as Fire Warrior shoulder pads for knee pads) to lightly bulk up the regular Crisis battlesuit shape into something far more imposing.
The tiny rivets, indents and vents also prove plenty of detail to an otherwise flat and featureless surface, making the battlesuit resemble the mecha from Robotech or Armored Core.
Unfortunately, I don't know who made this one.
Hopefully seeing these top 5 Tau battlesuit conversions has given you plenty of ideas for your own Tau Crisis suits and Broadsides.
If there's one thing I've always loved about this hobby is how you can borrow ideas from other people, put your own slant on things and quite often they will borrow those ideas right back!
Not sure where to start with your own conversions? Then read my Tau Battlesuit Conversion Tutorial, which should make things easy for you.
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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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