An Important Announcement

February 27, 2012 · 24 comments

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.

Zone Mortalis

February 24, 2012 · 6 comments

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.

Random Acts of Charity

February 22, 2012 · 4 comments

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.

Turns out they desperately needed some Orks for starter games of Warhammer 40K and Keith was fed up with the current set getting butchered by the Space Marines every time. But with these guys all swinging Power Klaws that would be a different story!

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.

Army Painter Iron Warriors Review

February 20, 2012 · 9 comments

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.

Has 40K Lost Its Way?

February 17, 2012 · 14 comments

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.

Playing Super Dungeon Explore

February 15, 2012 · 2 comments

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.

Rapid Fire - More Shots, More Kills!

February 13, 2012 · 15 comments

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.

Tau Empire - Another Year of Waiting?

February 2, 2012 · 4 comments

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.

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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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