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.
January 23, 2012
January 22, 2012
16 Chaos Havocs completed this weekend! The Iron Warriors army is rapidly nearing completion.
I can't wait to get these guys done so I can start work on Super Dungeon Explore and then make a start on the Tau.
Seeing as the new Tau army seems to be quite a way off, now seems like a great time to get everything else done.
Also, with 6th edition round the corner and a rumoured Tau Codex, everything could change dramatically for the Tau Empire, which is why I'm hesitant to write out any army lists or tactics. Because if I do, I'll probably have to rewrite it all anyway.
Either way, lots of people seem to be getting their Tau armies ready for a new Codex.
6 Chaos Obliterators and an Iron Warriors Warsmith is all that stands between me and completing 2,000pts of Iron Warriors. Okay, I've still got to dip them all in the Quick Shade, flock them, lightly drybrush the flock grey and then spray varnish them. But I'm entitled to my little victories.
For the record, James loves the way I paint pink on my chaos plasma guns insisting that I could make an Noise Marine army look amazing. Considering it's only Warlock Purple with Bleached Bone mixed in for the highlight, I have to agree that it's quite striking. But for now I'll stick with my army of chaos Plasma/Melta madness and mugging!
Stay tuned for photos of the painted Warsmith and Obliterators, then the whole army fully painted, dipped, flocked and varnished! I'll be sure to post up the army list then as well.
January 22, 2012
I've just finished working on a new layout for Tau battle reports.
Now can you browse the Warhammer Tau blog for battle reports against each army type under the BATTLES tab on the sidebar.
So if you click on the link for Space Marines VS Tau, you'll get all of the Tau battle reports against all the different varieties of Space Marine.
If you click on the Tyranids VS Tau link, you'll see all the Tau battle reports against the Tyranid swarms.
It's only a small thing, but I'm really pleased I've managed to tweak the way that Blogspot displays labels to make it work. Please bear with me while I go through and map all the battle reports to each relevant section.
In the meantime, stay tuned for new Tau battle reports!
January 19, 2012
Long before the blogosphere, long before Warseer, there was Portent and there was CARNAGE.
What started as the first Portent tournaments quickly grew in reputation to become CARNAGE, representing all that was good and pure about a wargaming weekend away.
This was in the days when Games Workshop's official Grand Tournament was the brutal blood bath that the regular tournament scene has since become.
But back then a tournament wasn't about winning games. Oh no, it was about going out, having a good time with a big crowd of guys and getting absolutely wasted around Nottingham before staggering in (late!) for your first game on the following morning.
Maybe your army list was thrown together that morning? More likely, your army was hastily built in the early hours of Saturday morning, having been up drinking all night. You were docked massive amounts of points for this, but nobody cared.
Ah yes, such glorious days...which may yet come again. For CARNAGE has returned, bringing with it the sweet promise of drunken loutishness and playing Warhammer 40K quite simply for the love of playing Warhammer 40K.
It's been years since the last CARNAGE tournament and I have countless fond memories from each and every one of them...which kind of blurr into one drunken, dice filled haze.
The year I won 3rd place with my Deathwing. The year my Deathwing got ripped apart by Genestealers. The year my Space Crusade Chaos Marines army kicked some serious arse. And of course, the year my Tau took a thrashing, only to come back in the following year and claw their way up into the top 10 with superior tactics. After all, that's what playing Tau is all about.
Unfortunately, I don't expect my Tau hunter cadre to be ready by March, so it's up to those poor Iron Warriors to take up the slack and duke it out for a chance at ever lasting glory -or die a screaming death!
Oh well, it is only a laugh.
The latest batch of 6th edition rumours insist that the recent leaks were all true...or relatively true.
But while Warhammer Tau (your source for all things tactically Tau) is stubbornly sitting on the fence, there is no denying that a new rule set is right around the corner.
We're still hoping for a new Tau Codex -and why shouldn't we get one soon when only the Eldar and Tau remain on the list of xenos races?
But in the meantime Tau generals seem to be doing just fine by ignoring the objectives and blowing our enemies to atoms with high strength firepower.
The classic strategy of popping all the transports before gunning down the guys inside seems to be working well, provided all your points are spent on Battlesuits and Broadsides, but not on Troops.
Either way, having your Tau hunter cadre built (perhaps painted) and ready to roll for the new edition could catch a lot of players off guard. After all, we can safely assume that we'll be fighting some colour of Space Marines, which allows us to tailor our forces quite perfectly.
As for the 6th edition rule set itself, it's really too early to speculate on how the Tau are going to play. And I feel that's the case with every army whenever a new edition comes out.
It took everyone a while to realise that 5th edition favoured mechanised armies so heavily. For the first 6 months battlefields were absolutely swarming with troops instead.
So it will be interesting to see what this new 'intensely tactical' 6th edition brings. But however the game may change, in the long term it always seems to benefit the players who have 2 armies in their collection - 1 for close combat and 1 for shooting.
Space Wolves are my close combat army. Tau are my shooting army. And I don't know about you, but 6th edition makes me feel very shooty today!
January 16, 2012
No really, Warhammer 40K does offer good value for money. Despite the price hikes, despite the units becoming cheaper and us all having to buy more as a result, other 'normal' hobbies are surprisingly more expensive!
This article started off as trying to justify the cost of my little plastic men with their little plastic guns to my girlfriend. However, I soon discovered that Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40K really is quite an affordable hobby compared to video games or even going to the gym!
40K vs Video Games
So by comparison how much do we spend on a Warhammer 40K unit? About £20 to £40. And it will take us a whole weekend to build and paint said unit, much like it will take us a whole weekend to finish a video game.
But how often do you play your games again once you've completed them? And unlike video games, Warhammer 40K units can be added together to build an army and be used simultaneously while video games cannot.
So in the short term a Warhammer 40K purchase provides equal 'hobby time' as a video game. However in the long term, a Warhammer 40K purchase will provide more 'hobby time' as you continue to play games.
Collectively, a Warhammer 40K army of say, 2,000 points will set you back in the region of £400. A games console and 5 games will come to the same amount. But will those 5 games last you longer than 5 weekends, perhaps 10? If one of them is Call Of Duty, then yes, it will have a better long term return. But you're more likely to play the Warhammer 40K army over and over for a much longer period of time.
40K vs Gym Membership
Alternatively for something a little more active, let's compare Warhammer 40K to my new gym membership. I got myself a Gold membership for just £444 (I get a special rate for being a local resident) and bought a new pair of running shoes for £70 so I don't mash my feet. So that's £514.
Because this is a one-year investment, much like a Warhammer 40K army, it's difficult to count up the 'hobby hours'. But while I could spend an hour a day at the gym, I could easily spend an hour a day building and painting my army, and up to 3 hours a week playing a game.
So in terms to 'hobby time' for your money, a 40K army would actually be a lot better. And this is probably the cheapest gym membership I've ever seen.
Sure, £40 is a heck of a lot of money for some of the bigger Warhammer 40K tanks and it can be tough to justify the costs for our man-toys. But when you measure the value of these kits in terms of 'hobby time', then Warhammer 40K and tabletop wargames in general become a surprisingly cost effective way to make the most of our free time.
I mean, why burn out your retinas playing video games or get fit by going to the gym when you can build, paint and play with little plastic dudes for potentially less?
Okay, we should all get some exercise to stop us from looking like a sack of potatoes, but you get the idea.
January 15, 2012
Iron Warriors Plasma Chosen Squad 1 is done! I managed to finish off these guys in 3 hours flat, which is pretty good going, if I do say so myself.
Strangely enough, the plasma guns were actually quicker to paint than the bolt guns. I opted to go for the pinky/purple glowy Chaos power cell effect, rather than the usual blue Imperial one.
Yes, it does look a bit gaudy next to the black and yellow hazard stripes. But I think this will look better once they've been dipped and shaded.
I'm actually starting to like this army now that it's all coming together. Of course, I haven't played any more games with it, so it might suck on the tabletop. But either way, I'll be taking it to Blog Wars 3 and Open War while I'm working on my Tau.
Finishing 1 squad a week feels good and based on this, I have about 3-4 weeks of painting left.
I have another Iron Warriors Plasma Chosen Squad, a Melta Havoc Squad, 6 Obliterators and 1 Warsmith to go.
They all need to be dipped, flocked and varnished. Then they're done.
In the meantime, James is keen to get a game in with his Necrons soon and has asked if he can play my Iron Warriors. So it will be interesting to see if melta/plasma spam can deal with the latest Codex.
If I'm honest, I don't have great hopes for the Iron Warriors, because they're a very blunt and bland army. Take out their transports and they're pretty screwed. But isn't that the way with all Space Marine armies right now?
January 9, 2012
There's a simple reason why you can never quit Warhammer 40K, because deep down you love it.
You love the feeling of finishing that stunning character model, unleashing that new unit on your friends or simply rocking up for a game and getting your fully painted army out to battle across stunning terrain.
So no matter how you may bitch and moan about the prices, the latest overpowered army or the screaming kids (and the screaming Games Workshop staff!), Warhammer 40K really is a fantastic hobby.
How many other games give you so much variety in the missions? By randomising the 3 mission types and 3 deployment types we get 9 possible games. And let's not forget that the strategies for the deployment of each army can totally change the game as well.
So while some armies will always have to close with you as quickly as possible, other armies can choose to castle in the corners, arrive from reserve, make a feint or simply claim the objectives then sit and wait.
Personally, this is something I've always loved about Warhammer 40k, because it's not just the mission which dictates how the game will play it's also a combination of your army, your opponent's army and how both of your choose to deploy and what strategies you adopt. And unlike Warhammer Fantasy, you don't always have to commit to your starting strategy.
Loads of Armies
Few other games have quite so many armies to choose from or with such a wide range of units. Space Marines, Chaos, Imperial Guard, Tau, Eldar, Tyranids, Dark Eldar and Necrons are just a few of the armies which spring to mind.
There have been tournaments I've attended where I've been drawn against a different army every game. Sure, a lot of them were different types of Space Marines or even Chaos Marines. But when you don't field a 3+ save army yourself, it makes it very easy to tailor your force to deal with those 'popular' threats!
But whatever appeals to your imagination or playing style, there is a Warhammer 40K army that does it perfectly from swarms of screeching aliens to elite armies of chainsword wielding maniacs or simply loads of tanks, artillery, aircraft and battlesuits to blast your enemies apart from a distance. And with more units than ever being included in each new Codex the creative freedom in crafting our armies is greater than ever.
Plenty of Tournaments
Because Warhammer 40K is without a doubt the most popular tabletop wargame in the world, it is incredibly easy to find someone to play against or to find a tournament to attend.
I have always attended tournaments and made friends from there. The tournament scene seems to be where the cool gamers are, while the local games clubs seem to harbour more of the mutants and misfits. Don't get me wrong, I've met some awesome people at games clubs and some horrifying people at tournaments. It's just that the tournament scene seems to be populated by more sociable, hard working, every day folk.
So the best way to make new gaming buddies and have a good time is definitely to attend some tournaments. You will also get to see a stunning array of armies, including some of the most exquisite miniature painting and jaw dropping conversions that will have you 'borrowing' countless cool ideas for your army.
I feel it's time we did away with all the negativity. Yes, the Grey Knights Codex ruined 5th edition, but no doubt 6th edition will address the balance and bring all of the races on to a level playing field once again.
After all, what wargame was ever balanced? The only time I can think of a game being balanced was when I played one of the top tier armies!
But the point I wanted to make is that we all love Warhammer 40K for a wide range of reasons. And just because the rules keep changing isn't going to stop us from feeling passionate about our armies or enjoying a good game with some great people and a couple of fully painted armies on some stunning terrain.
Thanks for reading and on keeping gaming!
January 8, 2012
Today I spent a good 5 hours painting up another Iron Warriors squad. Only 24 Chaos Marines, 6 Obliterators and a Warsmith to go until I'm done. Then I'll have 2,000pts complete.
I bought this army with the intention of painting it quickly just to play games while I worked on my other armies, but it's still taking a long time. It needs dipping and flocking after all this too.
Obviously, I'm not really stretching myself in terms of painting ability. This army was intended to be quickly painted purely for playing after all.
However, this has been a great opportunity to practice my freehand and perfectly paint black and yellow chevrons. That will put me in good practice for painting Orange strips on my Tau and perhaps some new camouflage patterns too.
The painting war goes on...
January 6, 2012
Yesterday Games Workshop revealed that its global half-year profits were up by 40%, reaching £9.5million.
Partly this was from selling the rights to THQ for the Space Marine game for a cool £2.6 million.
The other 6.9 million was no doubt generated by Grey Knights, Dark Eldar, Necrons and the now discrete price hikes.
Let's not get delusional though, because their recent success is mostly owed to Space Marines. Space Wolves, Blood Angels, and Grey Knights. Although I have been told that Dark Eldar was actually their second best selling range after Grey Knights.
The other part of their success is the 'extreme' make overs for each army, where every new Codex is just so incredibly over the top that the fans cannot resist.
After all, everyone from the newest newbie to the most ardent fan boy collectively roared in outright disgust at how overpowered the Grey Knights Codex was...before they rushed out to buy the Codex, the army and the goddamned T-shirt!
And now each and everyone of us eagerly awaits for our army to receive the 'Matt Ward treatment', ready to sacrifice what sanity our background resembles in exchange for our little plastic dudes to be made awesome too.
If there's one thing that makes the 5th Edition Tau Empire awesome it's the railgun.
Able to fly through a tank like a hot Frisbee through butter, the railgun is a range 72", Strength 10, AP 1 beauty of a weapon.
"Say, that's a nice Land Raider you've got there." - BOOM!
And that's the real beauty about it, you don't need to risk getting your face torn off by getting up close with a melta gun in order to take out the Armour 14 tanks of the game.
In fact, I had one spectacular game where my 3 railgins (2 on Broadsides, 1 on a Hammerhead) took out 3 of Marc's Ork Battlewagons on Turn 1. And I was firing at their front armour.
Cover Save Woes
In 5th edition the cover save really ruined the railgun for a lot of people. Suddenly Tau armies were only nailing enemy tanks half of the time because of 4+ cover saves.
However, that could all change with 6th edition. Apparently cover saves are down to 5+ and tanks are easier to hit too, due to being large targets.
So while we can only get a few railguns in an army right now, the railgun is still the most incredible gun in the game.
Draw a Line and Die!
If the new Tau Codex rumour about the Hammerhead railgun hitting everything in a straight line is true, then it will be a very happy day for Tau players indeed.
It would certainly encourage a very different mechanic for the army by rewarding strategies that focus on laying down lanes of overlapping fire with the mobility to strategically redeploy as required.
So just remember that the railgun is the biggest gun in the game -and for a good reason! Be sure to let your enemies know about it.
January 2, 2012
It's time for wargaming new year resolutions again. And I don't know about you, but 2011 was a real non-event of a year.
I think that the Grey Knights Codex killed Warhammer 40K for a lot of people. Blood Angels definitely didn't help and as for the Imperial Guard blasting everybody off the board with a 'leaf blower' list, the game just hasn't been much fun.
But finally, the Necrons awoke and everyone's interest in the hobby seems to have returned, because there's a new army that isn't a different colour of Space Marine.
It also means that Tau, Chaos and Eldar aren't far away from receiving a new Codex as well. Albeit in a year or so.
So with wargaming on the rise, Warhammer 40k 6th edition on the way and hopefully a huge tournament network (TableTop Nation) that's easily accessible, 2012 could be a great year for gamers.
This brings me on the first of my New Year resolutions...
Attend More Tournaments & Play More Games
Last year I attended 2 tournaments and didn't have the best experience at either of them.
However, having seen the Throne Of Skulls tournaments and other fun group get togethers, I'm looking forward to playing more fun tournaments rather than all out competitive tournaments.
I also haven't been playing any 40K regularly with James, Marc, Luke or anyone else for that matter. So wargaming has been really restricted to simply building and painting stuff, which is a shame.
So for 2012 I intend to attend a tournament of some kind every other month. I miss the socialising, I miss the weekends away and most of all I miss playing lots of games against a variety of opponents and armies.
Build Two Armies
If there's one thing I have always suffered from when playing Warhammer 40K, it's my attention span.
Tempted by new shiny stuff, I tend to sell what I had and start a new army and the cycle begins again.
But I'm getting too old for this nonsense. I'm nearly 30, have a fantastic job, girlfriend, house, car and need to focus my attentions on other things. Real life things.
So after some lengthy input from James and Marc, I have decided to settle on Tau Empire as my Warhammer 40K army and High Elves as my Warhammer Fantasy army.
These are the two main systems that everybody plays and I'm not really bothered by the other games out there. So I can happily get on with the hobby and just play some games for fun with these two. That gives me plenty to paint too!
It's a tough thing to stick to, because there are always new armies and new temptations, but as I'm getting older I find that I just have less and less time for hobbies. So I mustn't waste it.
Speaking of which...
Better Time Management
I waste so much of my time idly surfing the internet. Worst of all, I seem to get so easily distracted that I can spend half an hour on here and only then realise that I came on here with something important that I intended to do. If only I could remember what it was...
So anyway, my time needs to be focussed and better spent on building and painting my armies. So I have set up an iGoogle page as my home page with all the feeds from the most important websites in my life.
This way I can just scan the feeds and see if anything interesting catches my eye. When I'm done I can just turn off the computer and walk away.
So What Are Your New Year Resolutions?
January 2, 2012
Sometimes the best way to get things done is to just knuckle down and paint.
Today I have been mostly painting my Iron Warriors, because I just want to get the army finished.
I blitzed through all 6 Rhinos and 16 Chaos Marines, which is pretty good going. They're still a way from being finished because I chose to invest in Army Painter to get the army done quick and easy, but it doesn't really seem to be any faster.
I just need to paint the basic colours on 32 more Chaos Marines, 6 plastic Obliterator conversions and the Warsmith and they're ready for dipping, flocking and varnishing. Then I can chuck them all in a carry case and sell them when the new Chaos Legions Codex comes out.
But the point I'm trying to make is that the only way you will ever finish an army is by dedicating some time to it. That could be an hour an evening, a Sunday morning or even a whole weekend.
So get the Lord Of The Rings Trilogy DVD Boxed Set on the telly, sit down and paint those little plastic dudes. It's the only way they'll ever get done.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have the rest of my Iron Warriors to finish, a horde of Super Dungeon Explore Kobolds to paint, all the Super Dungeon Explore heroes, 2,000pts of High Elves still in their boxes...and of course, 4 Tau Empire Battle Forces.
It's a tough hobby, but somebody's gotta do it!
- ► 2016 (19)
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- Top 5 Tau Battlesuit Conversions
- Shut Up and Paint! 4
- Tau Battle Reports
- Return to CARNAGE
- 40K 6th Edition - Ready Your Railguns!
- Warhammer 40K Good Value for Money?
- Shut Up and Paint! 3
- Why You Can Never Quit Warhammer 40K
- Shut Up and Paint! 2
- Games Workshop Reveals 40% Increase in Profits
- Eat Railgun - BOOM!!
- What Are Your New Year Resolutions?
- Shut Up and Paint!
- ▼ January (13)
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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