Christmas, A New Tau Player, and Mohawk Boy

December 24, 2013 · 1 comments

I hope Christmas finds you all warm and happy in the knowledge that some-where, some-how, and some-when a Tau railgun is blowing some Imperial dirtbag to little pink smithereens.

I have good news and bad news folks.  The Seahawks lost to those stinking Arizona red bird thingies, but I also have the great joy of announcing that my daughter and her fiancĂ©e (Mohawk Boy) have decided to learn how to play 40k.  And thank God, it was about time. 

Her favorite 40k race?  Tau.  Yes please.




She doesn't yet realize that she has chosen one of the most powerful factions in 40k right now, but as always, we are only one codex release away from the scorn and pity that was 5th edition (and our 4th edition codex blues), so I will not play any of that up too much...

But do you know how much money I am going to save by not having to buy her new models?  She can just use mine, and I can get one of my other armies going.  I have had my eye on a Sisters or Inquisition detatchment for my Templars!  Neither detachment may add much to BT, but it will be fun. 

Her second choice is Eldar, and here again I don't really have to buy models for her.  I have boxes and boxes of unassembled Eldorks in the garage that I have been waiting for the opportunity to assemble, and so here we go.  And I'm off for the next two weeks... Should we start with the Wraithknight or the jetbikes? 

Oh yes, Virginia, it really is Christmas! 

Until recently, she and the aptly nick-named mohawk boy have been on this Friday Night Magic and dungeon crawlers kick, and I am glad they have finally come to the Jesus of the wargaming world, 40k.  I'm not knocking FNM, but let's face it, those magic guys are a little weird.  Not the weird like playing with toy soldiers on a beautiful Saturday afternoon weird (like us), but the allergic to sunlight and grass pollen weird...

At any rate, I am beside myself with joy.

It is the best Christmas gift ever.  I am so proud --well mostly.

On the other hand, I am not proud that Mohawk Boy wants to play either Tyranids or Orks.  I told him that he was welcome to play either of those two armies if he really wants to/  But I made it clear that if he so chose, then he would not be allowed any children with my daughter.  Honestly, he would never be able to both feed those kids AND field an decent army, and I would hate for him to lose a game for lack of a proper presence on the table.  I refuse to be embarrassed. 

I guess we could dress one of the toddlers up as a stompa though, depending on how ugly the kid is... and considering Mohawk Boy's rugged looks... well.  It just might work.  We could even let it rampage around the table...

I hope they let me name it.  I am thinking Pick-nose, or Gut-scrunch, or something proppa'

But would it be worth my daughter's wrath?  Oh well, it was worth a thought.

At any rate, I am in a bit of a slump for writing material, so I am going to continue my series of articles on how to get started *playing* with Tau.  The last articles actually related to what to buy, and you guys seemed to enjoy the posts.  Now I am going to focus on how to configure what you have and how to use them.

I will get the first one out this week entitled "Play Your Tau!"

'Till then, Happy Christma-Hanna-Kwan-Solsti-ka! 

We have such an unhealthy relationship with the holidays here in the US.  We should just resolve ourselves to saying "Happy Shopping!"

Whatever you call it (and as I started this article), I hope it finds you warm, happy, and full of hope, children, grandchildren, railguns, stompas, whizz-bangs, nerf daggers, figgy pudding, good friends, and whatever else brings you joy.

I play Tau.

The Firebase Support Cadre

December 5, 2013 · 7 comments

Ok, so we have a new formation. 

As you all know, I rushed out and purchased this a couple of weeks ago, primarily because I wanted the new Broadside models and this effectively gave me two for free (at US $290 this kit is about $100 less than retail for the individual kits, and broadsides are $50 each...)

The kit gives us a Riptide and six broadsides battlesuits.  But it also aligns with the new dataslate product GW has available on the iBookstore.  This dataslate outlines rules for using these units as a formation or detachment in regular games of 40k. 

You have to run all six Broadsides AND the Riptide in your army, and in return you get the "tank hunters" and "preferred enemy: Space Marines" special rules.

May not seem like much, but preferred enemy gives them all the ability to re-roll failed to hit rolls of 1 (against Space Marine units), and tank hunters allows you to re-roll armor penetration rolls (either for fails or to try and bump a glance up to a pen) against vehicles (not just Space Marines on this one).

Tau, Nebari, Old Documents, Schitzophrenia, and Smurfs.

November 20, 2013 · 6 comments

Chiana, a Nebari Female
So... I was going through and approving comments the other day (unfortunately we have a couple of spammers and I have to scrub their filth regularly), and I came to a rather improved understanding of this site. 

What I discovered was that this is a living website.  By that, I mean that it is constantly being read and remade by fans all over the world.  A couple of the reader comments I published were responses to documents written by Adam back in August of 2009.  Now, four years wasn't that long ago -all things considered, but I was curious that folks were still commenting on those old pages.  So I started looking through them.

I'm Dreaming of a Tau Christmas...

November 12, 2013 · 3 comments

The new Tau Christmas bundle is on the way.  I just received a call from my favorite local game store employee informing me that it was going to be available in the next week or two, and that if I wanted it then I needed to let him know. 

I simply cannot find a container large enough for my joy! 


The Tau Firebase Cadre will cost $290 (plus tax) for six Broadsides Battlesuits and a Riptide.  Separately, these babies would cost about $385, for something I wanted anyway.  That is a savings of almost two broadsides...

Maybe not so great for those who rushed out and got all this stuff when it was released in April anyway, but I only bought a few items last spring.  I still had my Eldar, Lizardmen, and Black Templar habits to support...

Too many good things at once can be a bad thing,  and all four armies were within about six or seven months of each other, so....  Let's just say that my kids are starting to bitch about the cardboard crackers with cheese whiz dinners I've been feeding them lately.

But I have resolved to get the Tau Firebase Cadre and possibly the Space Marine flyers -starving rug-rats or not. .  The jury's still out on the Eldar bundle, as it will probably be about $260 for that baby (considering an average 25% discount) and I don't really need any more Wraith Lords.  I think I will just pass on that one and save a little Christmas money for my precious reptiles (the Lizardmen, not necessarily the children). 

Actually, I've gotta spread the wealth a little, and it's getting harder to justify feeding the Tau and Eldar armies when my human children are getting a little thin...

So, my point is, I think the Tau deal is well worth it.  Ignore what you are seeing on the Interwebs.  25% is nothing to sneeze at, and the models are all useful, (if you need or want six brand new Broadsides). 

It breaks down to $37.50 per Broadside, and $63.50 for the Riptide (assuming a 25% discount on each).  And that is less than you will pay Discount Wargames or Destroyer on eBay.  And if you purchase it through your local store (as you should) there is no shipping.  :)  

Skeet Skeet Skeet!

I'm just thinking of how awesome it will be to field an all Battlesuit army (Farsight) that includes up to ten broadsides and up to four Riptides in a single force org.  Dress two squads up with missiles, and the other up with railguns...  ooh... baby...  And Ob'Lotai...

It'd be equally nice to throw a R'Varna or three into a heavy support slot on a second force org (but I'd have to put on a red wig and sleep with Daddy Warbucks or someone pretty important to get three of those.... 

And R'Varna is not a character thus exempt from the one per army rule...

As for the bundle? Get it.  Get a R'Varna, too.

Get it soon.

I play Tau.

Battle Report: Tau vs. Tyranids

October 30, 2013 · 3 comments

Finally! I had the opportunity to head up to my FLGS and spend some therapeutic time playing a game of 40k. Work has kept me very busy and often on the road, so this is the first time I'd had a chance to play since the Feast of Blades qualifier in my area.

My opponent was the player who went to Feast of Blades in my stead. He brought Tau to the Feast invitational (triple Riptides), but today he played me with his Tyranids. I hadn't really played Tyranids, ever, so I was excited to see what they could do. He was sick of playing 1850, so we agreed on 2000 points and beefed up our standard lists a little bit.

Super Dungeon Explore Druid & Bear

October 25, 2013 · 1 comments

Super Dungeon Explore really should come with an assembly guide! First I made the DeepRoot Druid and Bear and I've got to say that it's a lot tougher than it looks.

These models are absolutely covered in flash and to make things worse, the parts are small, rather fragile looking and it's difficult to tell exactly where they fit on the models.

So by comparison, the druid was a piece of cake to put together. All he needed was a quick clean with a sharp knife and to glue the fur cloak on to his back. I'll trim the edges again with a knife once it's dried.

The bear however, took me well over half an hour to clean and assemble, because he comes covered in flash, especially around some of the chain detail and his head doesn't fit on properly!

After completely cleaning the two parts I tried getting the head on, but found a huge gap either at the front of the mouth or at the back of the neck.

First of all I trimmed around the 'stumpy bit' that slots down. However, when that only made a minor improvement, I realised that the 'stumpy bit' was far too wide to fit fully down into the slot, so I chopped the bottom off using a pair of crude Power Scissors. They actually use these in hospitals to cut people's clothes off!

The head then fitted on perfectly and I glued it into place. Although there is a seriously noticeable joining line (and slight gap) around the mouth and along the back of the tongue.

I never thought I'd say it, but this looks like a job for that new Liquid Green Stuff, because there's no way I'd be able to get some into that gap without making a mess of the model otherwise.

Now to start on the other characters. But I think it's going to be a while before I play any games of Super Dungeon Explore when the models take this much effort to put together.

Still, it'll be amazing when they're all built and beautifully painted, just like the fully painted Space Hulk set that I love so much.

Stay tuned for more ranting as I assemble the rest of the box.

Super Dungeon Explore 8-Bit Demo Game


I ran an 8-Bit Demo game of Super Dungeon Explore for James and Luke to get used to the basics of the game before moving on to the proper 16-Bit, Super and Ultimate levels of the game.

James took the Paladin (because it looks like him!) while Luke took the Dwarf and they began hacking their way through through the basic game.

The guys really got into the swing of things quite quickly and started having fun unleashing all manner of special attacks, swapping potions, picking up Loot and equipping Treasure.

We had a fantastic time playing the basic 8-Bit game, but it still took some serious preparation on my part. So I recommend that you do the same if you're introducing people to Super Dungeon Explore for the first time. They'll get bored sitting around for 2 hours while you're reading the rulebook otherwise!

8-Bit Demo Game Preparation
I spent a good hour or two reading through the rulebook very thoroughly while having everything laid out in front of me.

Some parts of the rulebook aren't very clear -especially where certain counters have been changed during the production of the game. But once you grasp the basics, it's plain sailing from there. However, some of the rules require a little common sense based on other rules in the game.

So for example, the Dwarf's "Cleave" attack is performed just a regular attack, but it took us a while to work this out and make sure that's exactly how it was intended.

However, once you've read through the rulebook a couple of times, the summary at the back makes a lot of sense, as does the glossary of status effects on the opposite page.

But essentially the game is a like Disgaea, Hero Quest and Gauntlet thrown into a blender. If you've played any games in the Disgaea series on the Playstation, then the area effect attacks and 'mobbing up' will be familiar to you.

However, this is where you may need to be lenient as the Dark Consul (aka: dungeon master), because you can quickly obliterate anyone who is unfamiliar with this sort of game. Having played Disgaea for years, I was quickly able to identify how to use the various dungeon denizens and minions to maximum potential. But that wouldn't have made for a very enjoyable game for the other players.

Once you've played through one game then all of the rules should make sense for any future games.

Playing a Super Dungeon Explore 8-Bit Demo Game
My two players were brilliant and got straight into the action without hesitating. Luke really relished his role the the stubborn, hard-as-nails Dwarf with a "great cleavage" as Luke put it whenever his Dwarf unleashed his "Cleave" attack.

Meanwhile James excelled as the Paladin, dishing out plenty of punishment while healing himself and Luke's Dwarf to the point where they were practically invincible.

Well, they were invincible until the Paladin was surrounded by Kobold Gougers who pokes at him with their pointy sticks using their Mob special rule to inflict lots of damage!

However, it was at this point that I realised I needed to tone down my typically ruthless tactics to give the heroes a chance of actually winning the game. My players wouldn't come back for more if I slaughtered them mercilessly and they wouldn't stay interested if I made it too easy for them either.

Because Luke and James had chosen melee characters, I made sure that I only spawned melee minions. Tempted as I was to form a shield wall with Kobold Ironscales and batter the heroes from a distance with 4 Kobold Flingers, it wouldn't have made the game much fun or helped Luke and James get to grips with the game mechanics.

But once the Heroes had gotten their hands on some awesome Loot cards, they began butchering their way through the rapidly spawning Kobolds before taking out the Spawning Points and then cutting down 'Rex' the Kobold Ogre Mini-Boss.

By this time the Dwarf had a Green Dice is his attacks and seriously wounded Rex, before the Paladin came in and finished him off with a coup de gras!

Luke and James loved how powerful their characters were becoming with every kill and as The Dark Consul, I had plenty of minions to throw at them or strategically combine to create difficult obstacles in their path.

After the game, Luke and James has a very good understanding of the rules and were keen to read about the 16-Bit and SUPER game levels as well as the different Heroes available.

Having played just 1 game, suddenly all the rules made perfect sense to all of us. We could clearly see what made each Hero special and since then everyone has been eager to try out the Claw Tribe Barbarian in our next game. She seems like wonderful killing machine thanks to Rage and Backlash.

However, the Hero of choice for any party is always the Paladin. His healing is just too good to leave home without.

In the meantime, stay tuned for some more games of Super Dungeon Explore - and next time I'll take some pictures too!

Have you got your copy of Super Dungeon Explore yet? If not, get it cheap online from Wayland Games before stocks sell out again.

This is the best board game I've played in years. Yes, it's even better than Space Hulk!

An Introduction is in order...

October 17, 2013 · 0 comments

Well, more properly, a re-introduction.

Allow me to present Josh Broughton (Nite Phire).

Josh has been playing Tau since August 2011, and expressed interest in contributing to the blog to David a while back, but work and college have delayed his efforts somewhat.  

In his own words...

XV-8 Battlesuit Conversions - Tutorial

October 13, 2013 · 0 comments

A few weeks ago I posted some pictures of my XV-8s, and was immediately asked for a tutorial...  well here it is.

First, I need to acknowledge Adam, the originator of this blog.  These conversions are based on his tutorial that can be found over on the right side of this page under the heading Tau Crisis Battlesuit Conversions.

I've added a few bits and pieces here and there, in particular elongating the torso, (making it look less squat).  This also allows for better articulation making more dynamic poses easier.

Alien Allies for Tau - Minor Races

October 7, 2013 · 2 comments

This is the fourth installment of background for Tau Empire Alien Allies.  We've already discussed the Kroot, vespids, and Gue'vesa which comprise by far the three most popular and most modeled races in the empire, but now it's time to look into the other races in the empire that have not yet been blessed with a model.  This will entail all of the races mentioned in the official rulebooks and novels, and other GW sanctioned texts as being part of the Tau Empire, even if only in a sentence.

That is not to say that there will not be articles here and there describing how to model some of these, and others.  On the contrary, later this month I have a big article about how I have represented some of these, it is based an old fan codex that used Eldar rules to play third party models as allies in Apocolypse. 

On top of that, I intend post conversion guides for modeling Gue'vesa, some of the other races, and a race not listed here, Sebastian's Naga.  But this article compiles all the background and everything I have been able to find about the sub-races in the empire.

The Tau Empire covers vast expanses of Space, not so vast as the Imperium of Man, but it's still pretty big (if one can call the nothingness between the stars big...).  Within that space there are many planets and races in addition to the Kroot and Vespids who have willingly joined the Tau, and many others that have been outright conquered, for the Greater Good -of course. 

Each alien race within the Tau Empire has a unique and different culture which either contributes to the Greater Good or supports it in its own way. However, all of the races hold to their common belief in the Greater Good that binds them together despite their cultural and physiological differences.

But there are also other groups within the empire that are not necessarily members of it.  Groups such as the non-aligned Kroot and Tarellians have no homeworlds to join the empire or be conquered by it.  And many others like the Morallians have forsaken theirs. But for whatever reasons, the Tau have not seen fit to vanquish these peoples, but allow them to serve the empire as mercenaries or workers. 

Each is detailed below.

A Face Only a Mother Could Love...

September 30, 2013 · 0 comments

A mother-ship that is...

So not a huge post this time, just updating you on a new battlesuit variant coming to a Forgeworld near you, and only £70 (that's $113 in real money).

I love the model already, and from appearances alone, it compounds the bad-assery suggested by the riptide and R'Alai.  I saw this on Faeit 212 and ATT a couple weeks back, and thought I'd share.

It's name is R'Varna, and it is classified as an XV-107 (the Riptide is an XV-104).  This is obviously not the nautical themed name common to classes of Tau battlesuits in the 40k universe. That combined with the R' honorific/prefix common to Forgeworld battlesuit character names, strongly suggests that it is also a character like R'Myr or R'Alai.

Sorry guys, both for the brevity and timeliness of the post.  But with school starting back and being knee-deep in football practice every night, I haven't had much time to do anything outside of school. 

I'm sucking man, and I really need to get a game in.  My fire warriors are getting fat.

So I am dialing this one in.  I am already in love with the model, and can't wait for it to become available for order.  In the meantime here are some interesting related links I found with tidbits and commentary.

Though this may be my shortest post ever, I hope you enjoy the reads.  Oh, and if someone finds the actual Forgeworld newsletter announcing this guy can you send me the link?   Thanks in advance.

I play Tau.

Alien Allies for Tau - Gue'vesa

September 16, 2013 · 0 comments

Alien Allies for Tau - Gue'vesa

The next big alien allies group for Tau is the Gue'vesa or expatriate humans.

According to the official rulebook,

The Gue’vesa, literally ‘human helpers’ in the Tau tongue, are human warriors who have taken up the cause of the Greater Good as their own. These humans, often the descendents of troops captured or abandoned during the abortive Damocles Crusade, now live and fight alongside the Tau. For them, fate has dictated that the Imperial Creed and the rule of the Adeptus Terra be replaced by loyalty to the collectivist Tau Empire and to the ruling Ethereal caste.

Imagine that, humans working for the Greater Good... intriguing, isn't it?

Cadre Reinforcements

September 3, 2013 · 9 comments

I haven't posted for a while because I've been working hard on reinforcements for my Cadre. I'm going to the Northern Warlords GT in Warrington this weekend and needed to focus on some bits and bobs. But I'm finished now so I thought I would post up a couple of pics of what Ive been working on.

First this is my latest Riptide

Heavy Burst Cannon Riptide
The plan is to run him as an allied Enclave Elite so I can take the Earth Caste Pilot Array and the Talisman of Arthas Moloch. I'm expecting lots of Demons and a few Rune Priest with Jaws, and being able to deny the witch on 4d6 will help.

The ECPA also helps in guaranteeing the Nova reactor gets charged pretty much every turn. This is my "solution" to screamers starts - bogg them down with a stubborn Riptide with a 3++ ..... OK, not great, but the best I could come up with, without radically overhauling my list.

The photo isn't too good, but I hope you can make it out. I was going for a predatory bird "perched" on the ruin sort of look. Not sure I cracked it though. It's probably easier to see from different angles!

The Ivy on the ruins I found on a website dedicated to dolls houses of all  things!

What you should expect from us and the site.

August 28, 2013 · 5 comments

Just a bit of admin here...

Since taking the reigns about a month ago I have worked very hard to adhere to Adam and David's (and the others) standards of quality as well as set some new standards for myself.  I have changed a couple of little things here and there, and I am working on a few others.  I added sections for books and allies, and changed the Recommended Blogs section a bit.  Hope you like it.

I am currently working on removing the advertising from the site.  There is this one ad that pops up right after the first article on the page that drives me batty.  I am also going through all the posts and making sure they're all dated and have a relevant picture to help readers know when the things were written and to improve the article previews.  I had originally wanted to archive those prior to the new edition of the codex, but Adam wrote some great articles that are still entertaining and informative.  So my vote, they stay.  Just with submission dates more visible.  The pictures help with the "you might also like" bit.

We have about 1500 unique viewers and about that many page views per day.  Our readers are from every English speaking country on the planet plus several others.  I am always delighted when look at the "Who's watching" map and I see the little beacon flashing in Russia, or Thailand, South Africa, or Portugal, meaning that someone is poking around on the site, almost all the time. The UK and the Northwestern US are almost always lit up, and it's not just me and David. I think that's pretty good.  We just need to get more readers in South America... so if you know someone down there...

I know that may not seem like much to some of you, but it is pretty big to me.  There are five of us on the council, or committee, or whatever you want to call it, and well, we are all pretty much fully employed otherwise, or fathers, brothers, friends, or whatever.  And most of us would rather spend what little hobby time we get playing, and not necessarily writing about 40k.  After all, isn't that how it should be?

I am not making excuses here, just trying to give you all a better feel for who we are and what you should expect from us and the site.

That said, these are my 10 commandments, or rather standards I intend to follow and promises I intend to keep.

 (ever notice how Tau text looks a lot like Hebrew?)

  1. This is a Tau, Kroot, and Tau Empire Allies blog.  Period.  I will try to avoid posting articles about other games and armies.  I cannot promise 100% compliance with this one, kinda like that "don't covet thy neighbor's wife" thing.
  2. At least one article per week -mostly likely from me, and I am shooting for an article to be posted at least every Monday.  The other guys will post when ever they have articles to contribute.  Check back regularly to see what we're talking about.
  3. Well-witten articles.  Grammatical errors annoy me, and I am sure they do some of you as well.  But strangely, I have never been annoyed by proper grammar and punctuation.  Not even once.
  4. We are not a rumor site. I rely on Faeit 212, Bell of Lost Souls, and 3++ is the New Black for my news and rumors, and rarely will I regurgitate their articles... unless its something really juicy (and Tau-like) that I can legitimately expand upon.  Redundancy is annoying. Redundancy is annoying.  Redundancy is annoying.  Get my point?
  5. I will try to focus on philosophy (as it relates to the game), fluff, thematic army lists, tactics, and other general hobby stuff specific to our army of choice.
  6. I will never, ever write an article about Dark Eldar, unless it's a battle report in which I have soundly kicked their pointy asses.  I love to hate them.  Sorry Natfka.
  7. I will never, ever write an article whining about what some army has that Tau doesn't.  Call a Waaahaaambulance, we don't have psychic powers, boo hoo... la di da...  I'm so tired of that.  If I wanted to whine all the time then I'd play Dark Angels. 
  8. I will borrow material from other sites from time to time, and I will always thank, credit, and link to the source.
  9. I will allow all comments as written, but I reserve the right to clean the crap off the walls (delete spam, rants, and obvious garbage).  I will not delete your comments simply because I disagree with them, but I will probably fire the railguns at one or two odd badgers here and there.  Keep the comments pithy and relevant, and I will try to do the same.
  10. I will try not to take myself too seriously.
Those are my operating principles, and I think they will help keep the site relevant and well read --as it has been so far. 

Well, that's about it for now.  I will post again this week sometime.  This was kinda heavy and dry, and I found a funny list of rules I would like to post... 

Funny is good, and I play Tau.

What Should I Buy Now? Phase V

August 25, 2013 · 0 comments

Part 5:  Gunline Tau

Ok, this is a tough one to pull off, so follow me through with it before you start yelling at your screen.

One of the quickest ways to lose a game is to implement this strategy improperly.  You need victory points to win a game of 40k.  To get enough of those victory points, you need objectives AND some of the other bits like line breaker, first blood, etc... 

The true gunline is an overly defensive strategy and is extremely difficult to pull off, especially if you create a futuristic version of the Maginot Line or the trenches of World War I, and your opponent starts dropping pie plates and deathwing termies on you. 

I will go out on a limb and say that while a pure Gunline tau Army may be a beautiful thing, and may be fun to play, a pure Gunline Tau Army will lose every game --unless you have a really dumb opponent.

First, we need to understand that the term, "Gunline Tau" is a misnomer.  That name for this strategy calls up images of bunkers and fortifications with little blue guys walking the trenches... this is not that type of gunline. 

In fact, the gunline is only half the army. 

What Should I Buy Now? - Phase VI

August 21, 2013 · 5 comments

Phase 6: Kicking it up a notch to 2500,
................. and adding some flavor.

These are units I just had to have...

Well, that is the mandatory Tau list, according to me. This last phase is where you can add in a little flavor to make your army your own.  Here is what I did, but again, this is the most optional part of your army building and it should be a reflection of your play style.  That said, I am not going to tell you what you must have or not.  But I will share what I did.

XV-104 Riptide.
I had to have this guy, and I will be getting a second one soon. He is the biggest battlesuit in the Tau inventory. He can lay down the firepower, and take a lot of flakk, and doesn't require a dead twin to field in a friendly game of 40k (see Codex: Eldar for more on that).

Update:  He isn't the largest suit anymore... that honor goes to either the Stormsurge or to our new titan, the Ta'unar 9depending on how you view ForgeWorld models).

At 2000 points you can expand your FOC. Stick Shadowsun in another battlesuit unit -particularly a stealth unit and watch her shine (actually she and the unit she's in will stealthily glimmer out of sight).

Alien Allies for Tau - Vespids


August 21, 2013


The Vespid are a unique race of insect-like aliens who are members of the Tau Empire. In the Tau Lexicon, they are called "Mal'kor". This derives from the Tau words for insect, "Mal," and air, "Kor." The Vespids' homeworld is a gas giant also called Vespid, three light years to the galactic south of the Tau's D'yanoi Sept.

When the Tau first encountered the Vespids, they saw a species of great potential value to the Greater Good and came to greatly covet their crystal-based technologies. Although the species had developed a reasonably stable planetary government and was able to utilise its advanced technology for a wide variety of uses, it had not yet achieved space flight. Tau Water Caste cadres established contact, yet were unable at first to communicate with the species. This was not a mundane matter of vocalisation or the understanding of language, for the Vespids have an utterly alien mindset

Kebek III

August 19, 2013 · 4 comments

August 19, 2013

So, I was poking around on the Interwebs a few days ago, and I found a blurb on some site that pointed me to another site, and so on... you know how it is when you're browsing...  Anyway, I ended up on a page about Team Kebek at Adepticon 2013.

This year, they put together an army/display that combined Necrons and Tau, and it is very creepy-cool.  My first impressions went from "ho-hum," to "Oh, that's kinda neat," then to "holy crap, that's freakin' awesome."   The army has a Borg-kinda feel to it, and the team even included a comic to tie all the fluff together.  You have to see this. 

Just an FYI, I like to think that we are not alone in the universe, but the notion of a Borg-like race, or even Necrons somewhere out there, assimilating other races, scares the living hell out of me.  This army connects me to that fear a little, and yeah, it gives me the creeps a little  --but I like it.  Particularly in this case, it is very well done.

You can find more pictures of the army here, and the comic here.  The team also has some cool photos from their previous Adepticon entries (IG and Orks).

I must admit, I did not find the site by accident, but I was unable to re-trace my steps in order to properly acknowledge the person or link that led me to it.  So if you happen to have seen the same blurb that pointed me there on BoLS or somewhere else, or if you happen to be the one who posted it, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due.  And thank you.

Thank you too, Team Kebek.  This project is exceptional work.

Farsight Enclave Supplement Review


Well all my fears about the Farsight Enclave Supplement are unfounded. The GT I’m going to at the beginning of September is allowing allied Tau Detachments to take Tau Signature Systems, essentially reading Farsight Enclave Army as “Farsight Allied Detachment”.

 I’m not going to argue with this as it gives me the best of both worlds – so, onwards with the Supplement Review.

 The Farsight Enclave Supplement is the first for the Tau Codex. It’s mostly fluff and background, but there are also some interesting rules. But first the fluff (!)

What Should I Buy Now? Phase IV

August 16, 2013 · 1 comments

Phase IV:  Mech Tau

I like the Mech-Tau style of play, and I like the Gunline-Tau style of play.  Remember what I said about never playing the same game twice?  But unless you have cash flowing out of your nethers, you need a plan for what to get next. 

This post assumes that you have been building up your basic cadre as listed in the first three articles.

Mech Tau is short for Mechanized Tau.  The concept goes back to the German blitzkrieg of World War Two.  First, the Germans would pound their targets with aircraft and long range artillery.  The goal of this phase was to eliminate any enemy anti-air and anti-armor assets.  Then they would roll in with the tanks with attached infantry units mounted in armored vehicles.  These guys would eliminate enemy anti-infantry units.  Next, the trucks would roll in loaded with even more infantry to serve as rapid response and to mop up any remaining organized resistance.  And lastly, the ground pounders would slog in and finalize the occupation. 

What Should I Buy Now? - Phase III

August 11, 2013 · 2 comments

August 11, 2013

Phase 3: Rounding Out With Essential Tau Units
      (up to about 1700 points)

Beyond the battle box, erm... battle boxes in this case, we need to delve a bit into philosophy before deciding what next to add to our cadre.  When we think about an essential Tau force, five key elements of Tau combat doctrine come to mind...

  1. High mobility (battlesuits and armored skimmers)
  2. High strength, long range weaponry with skyfire (railguns and missiles)
  3. Blistering small arms firepower (fire warriors)
  4. High Tech A-I support (drones and experimental technologies)
  5. Markerlight support (pathfinders, marker drones, etc.)

(there's more below, just click the article's title to see it)

Farsight Encalve - Rules Conundrum

August 9, 2013 · 10 comments

I’m struggling bit to get my head round the Farsight Supplement, specifically how it interacts with the Tau Codex. I was going to write a review of the Supplement, but I need to come to a view on this first. There has been some discussion on this over on Apostates Anonymous, but we haven't reached a conclusion. So, to aid understanding (!), and to expose the discussion to a larger audience, I thought I would set out some thoughts here for discussion.

I really welcome discussion on this topic, however, be nice! Logic, rules as written and courtesy are key – unsubstantiated conjecture on what the author intended, is not terribly helpful. I mostly play in tournaments and “but that's what it’s supposed to mean” doesn’t get you very far!

What Should I Buy Now? - Phase II

August 8, 2013 · 10 comments

August 9, 2013

Phase 2: Your First 1000 points or so (+ $250)

This is where you can expect the others in the circle start to disagree with me.

This article assumes that you have acquired the items in Part I.  If you don't want to go back and read it, you basically need

  • 40k rulebook
  • Weapon Templates
  • Dice
  • Scatter dice
  • Tape measure
  • Some maker tokens
  • Tau codex
  • Tau battle Box.
You could and probably should pick up a second battle box because it really is all good and you will use it every single thing in it.

First, you get three more crisis battlesuits.  Yay!  Battlesuits are signature Tau of the first order.   Three from the first box, and three from the second gives you two full units of crisis suits.  These are the cornerstone of the Tau way of war.  They are loaded with weapon and support options making them highly flexible, highly capable, powerful, and relatively inexpensive points wise.  More on these in the tactica, but trust me, three battlesuits in the battle box is way better than what used to come in this box (though I do miss the Kroot).

In addition to crisis suits, you get three additional stealth suits.  Along with those you already have from the first battle box.  This will give you a complete team of six -which is potent.  That's 24 burst cannon shots or 16 burst cannon shots and two 18-inch range meltas.  You can also throw a markerlight on the team leader. 

The stealth suits also come with optional marker drones (use them, you can spare the points and the markerlights are crucial at this point).   I push the markerlights a lot, but that is because they are brilliant and you really, really need them.  Without pathfinders, you need to stick markerlight support into your army wherever you can.  Heck, for that matter, you need to stick them in wherever you can even with pathfinders.  Yeah, get nasty.

(there's more below, just click the article's title to see it)

What Should I Buy Now? - Phase I

August 5, 2013 · 6 comments

August 5, 2013

When the site's founder Adam Smith first posed that question a couple of years ago the answer was murky at best because rumors about the imminent Tau release were all over the place, including the release date. The context has obviously changed now that we have a 6th edition Codex, but it is still an excellent question. 

Tactica: Devilfish

July 31, 2013 · 11 comments

One of 2 Devilfish I run in my Mechanised Cadre

Next Tactica - the Devilfish.

Unit Description

The humble Tau Battle Taxi – an AV12  11  10 Dedicated Transport that comes with a Burst Cannon and 2 gun drones standard. It’s a skimmer and it’s BS3.

Alien Allies for Tau: Kroot

July 29, 2013 · 1 comments

Greetings, fellow Xenos.

This is the first in a series about identifying and playing alien allies with your Tau Cadre, and in this post we are going to focus on the Kroot.


I had heard that there was to be a Tau supplement in August or September, and before I found out that it would be Farsight, I was hoping that it would have rules for the alien contingents from the various spheres of the empire's expansion.  These aliens are mentioned in various rulebooks from both Forgeworld and Games Workshop, so none of this is made up... erm, well at least not made up by me.

This notion of an alien codex has been further fueled by rumors from way back January or so that someone had seen a large Kroot monster, and that there were also models in play testing for both a Kroothawk and Vespid Spinewings.  Then more recently a Kroot Supplement plus one more Tau Empire book was predicted for next year.  All this talk has the gamer community (particularly Tau players) in a twitter... 

Aside from my poor little Templars Army (which only started because of the human battlesuit (dreadnought) in the AoBR box), I am a die hard Xenos player with a major for Tau and Kroot.  Heck, I even have a warm spot for the six-eyed spikey bug men.  Anyway, those rumors made me very happy, and as great as our new codex is or can be, I was rather disappointed when it came out.  Not only was there no Kroot cc monster, but the previously pathetic cc abilities of my beloved Kroot Carnivores were nerfed somewhat further away from the savagery expressed in the Kroot fluff.  That is not to say that they aren't useful in new and attractive ways, but they're certainly no longer what they were. 

Most people only used ever them as anti-assault "Kroot-loops" for broadsides or other vital assets as it was.  But there were a few of us who actually had the cajones to take on that flying shit-storm of Eldar farseers and warlocks on their little jetbikes with huge units of Kroot and their hounds.  We wanted what little cc they had and longed for more.  I remember a tag from another blog a while back that I really liked, "I power game -with Kroot!" 

At any rate, Kroot Carnivores should be at least a little tougher than a standard guardsman.  And losing the extra attack hurt my little Kroots' feelings.  I'd rather have seen a new Kroot unit with these sniper-lite abilities added to the codex (call them, I dunno, hunters?). Then maybe improve the toughness and/or strength of the existing carnivores and everyone would be happy.  Heck, they could have even kept the point price the same or upped it one and I would have still been ecstatic. 

But that is not to be, at least not for now, so let's move on.

The core question of this particular post is "How can I power game -with Kroot?" (yes, I borrowed that line).

And the answer is, that depends on your local gaming group (at least for now).  There are several solutions that come to mind:

  1. Get consent from your opponent to use the fan-developed Kroot codex
  2. Get consent from your opponent to use the old Kroot Mercenaries data sheet
  3. Model and play them as Tau (or something else).  Simply model Tau weapons on them and use Tau codex rules or play your Kroot models "counts as," like Eldar Oogla, or d'Orkies, or whatever floats your boat.
  4. Start with a Tau HQ, and use Kroot Carnivore, Shaper, Hound, and Ox models in all your troops FOC slots.  Then fill your other slots with Forgeworld Knarloc herds and Greater Knarlocs as appropriate -this option is not as fun or effective as others, and you will never win with it, but it does get your Kroot models onto the table so it works in a pinch.
Let's have a closer look at each of these options, starting with the fan-developed

The Kroot Codex

A while back, Andy Hoare and Lachlan Abrahams developed a Kroot Codex.  The units were similar to those listed in the Kroot mercenary rules for Apocalypse games, with a few extra bits to add capability and survivability as well as fill out the FOC.  It was a cool thing, and while not officially sanctioned, it was fun and could still be used to break monotony --in a pinch.  Also had some beautiful models pictured...

In fact, that's what I liked best, some of the model conversions those guys came up with to fill that codex were quite brilliant.  The shaper (far) above has a chainsword (called an eviscerator in the Kroot Codex) and this one is a master shaper.  But my favorite in the Kroot Shaman below. 

I won't rehash that codex here, but it was fun.  The group I play with now is a little more intense and most want noting to do with playing a fun game anymore... for some reason it's become all about winning and winning by codex, not necessarily cunning and strategy.  Gets a little old to me, but whatever.  You can find that codex here

Kroot Mercenaries

Way, way back in 2007 GW allowed Kroot armies in Apocalypse games via Forgeworld books, specifically the quintessential Imperial Armour: Apocalypse and Imperial Armour: Taros Campaign volumes.  There was even a specific data sheet for Kroot Mercenaries.  I do not have my own copy of those books, but I found a copy of the Kroot Mercenaries data sheet here.   

I have not yet seen anything that invalidates this, but then I haven't been looking.  Since the most recent Apocalypse book doesn't seem to include it, I am sure it is obsolete, maybe someone out there can enlighten me?   Whatever the case, I don't think you would get too much guff when asking to play a friendly game with these guys as long as you have a Tau codex (so everyone can see the regular Kroot stats) and a copy of the Kroot Mercenaries datasheet.  If anything they would be silly not to play against you (as they would most likely win).  But oh, the glory of fielding an all Kroot army...
I still have my old Kroot army that I built but only ever fielded a couple of times.  It would be nice to dust it off and give it another go...  maybe in the next Tau supplement (wink).

A "Counts As" Kroot Army

Another way to play your Kroot (or whatever) is to use them as a "counts as" army and make them an allied detachment.  I like using Eldar because they are battle brothers with Tau. 

My Master Shaper becomes an Autarch, my Shaman a Farseer, and my Shapers become Warlocks.  My Eldar Oogla army (named after the Kaezon Oogla from Star Trek Voyager -and the word ugly) is not too extensive, but I have included a possible FOC list a little further below.

Here are some possible Kroot "counts as" Eldar ideas...

      ♦ Kroot Master Shaper (Farseer)      ♦ Angkhor Prok (Eldrad)      ♦ Kroot Shapers (Warlocks)
           (If you model any of these on lesser 
gnarlocs they can be counts as jetbikes)
      ♦ Kroot "abomination" conversion (Avatar)
      ♦ Vulturekind (swooping hawks)
      ♦ Stalkers (with multiple genestealer arms) (warp spiders)
      ♦ Lesser Knarloc riders (jetbikes)
      ♦ Hunters (Pathfinders)
      ♦ Carnivores (Guardians)
      ♦ KrootOx (Eldar Artillery)      ♦ Greater Gnarlocs (War walkers)      ♦ Lizardmen Ripperdactyls with Kroot Riders (Vypers or aircraft)           (c'mon, admit it, these things look kroot-like)

Only problem is that it gets confusing if you have regular Kroot units in your Tau force and you use an allied detachment of Eldar Oogla.  Too many Kroot to keep up with.  I do not use this method because 1) the hounds do not really work, as anything Eldar-ish --though the KrootOx does work well as embedded artillery for guardians, and 2) I have another all-alien allied detachment that uses Eldar rules but no Kroot or Vespids  -but more on that in a later atricle.

Kroot Stuffed Tau

Your last option is to use a Tau Codex cadre and stuff Kroot units into Every FOC slot you can.  Currently there is no HQ or Elites FOC units for Kroot, but there are Kroot units for Fast Attack (knarloc herds), Heavy Support (greater knarlocs), and Troops (Carnivores, shapers, hounds, ox, and baggage herd greater knarlocs).

I think this type of Kroot army would probably suck most.  It forces you to replace three of your Tau strengths with much inferior Kroot units (fire warriors replaced by carnivores, pathfinders replaced by lesser knarlocs, and hammerheads and broadsides replaced by greater Knarlocs).  yay!


Now, rumor has it that a new supplement is coming in Q1 2014 for Tau. Obviously, no one but GW knows what that supplement will be (or even if it will be, for that matter) but it gives me great hope.  I can see every FOC slot filled with Kroot units (wish-listing).  

  • Kroot Master Shaper (from the datasheet)
  • Character Angkhor Prok.(from his own datasheet)
  • The cc monster in the rumors
  • Headhunters (from the datasheet)
    Fast Attack: 
  • Knarloc Riders from Forgeworld
  • Kroothawks or Vulturekind (from the datasheet)
  • Stalkers (from the datasheet) 
    Heavy Support: 
  • Forgeworld's Greater Knarlocs with large Kroot guns 
  • KrootOx in units of their own.
  • Carnivores (4th edition Tau codex Kroot rules)
  • Snipers.(current Kroot rules)
  • Transport beast? (from playtesting rumors)
And that's not even going into units or characters from the fan-based Codex (which GW will most likely ignore, and we all understand that). There is the potential for GW to do something really cool here.


I think if you want to build an all-Kroot army, then sticking with the units listed on the data sheet is the best of these options.  They have the credibility of GW/FW sanctioned rules, and they retain the true flavor of a truly Kroot force (yuck, can you imagine the flavor of Kroot?).

For now, my little Kroot minions remain on a shelf in my display case.  I look at them lovingly from time to time, remember the times we had together, and sigh.  I think Kroot bring a maniacal twist to the otherwise stoic and regimented Tau.  I really like them and I just know there has to be a better way to play them. 

I hope this predicted supplement is actually forthcoming. But for now it is all wishlisting and daydreaming.  Most of it is based in GW precedent, and rumors from a reliable site, but until we actually see it, it is indeed speculation and fantasy. But hey, that's the game we all play, so why not?  Go ahead, indulge yourself.

Last pic, for your indulgence.  This is a Kroot warlord on a heavily converted Balrog model.  Back when I was building my Kroot army I was digging around the interwebs for conversion ideas.  I am not sure where I found this, but when I find it again I will update this post to give credit where credit is due (click on it to enlarge). 

Just remember, GW may make the models and write the rules, but it's your army, so go crazy!

I play Tau (and sometimes Kroot).

29 July, 2013

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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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