Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Space Marine Codex: First Impressions, Chapter Tactics and Warlord Traits

Preface:

So it's the midsemester Break, after nine gruelling weeks of hard work somehow managing my hectic 15 hours of University Contact, I've managed to eke out a smidgen of time. Now, the fact that I've played more than a weeks worth of Total War: Rome II in the last month? well, we can pretend that's not the case. Anyway, point is, I'm sorry I haven't been posting, but here's my attempt to y'know, post again. 
As I've just recently bought the SM book, I thought I'd look at what I thought of the book. Having been off the radar for the best part of two months, (save for a single tournament), I came into C:SM without knowing any of the hype. I wasn't expecting centurions and I certainly wasn't expecting chapter tactics as they are. 
I'll have a look at what's changing, what's the same, what's notable and what I found interesting. None of these observations are very deep, nor are they meant to be taken as tactical note or whatever you think they are. Many of them will already have been shown to be wrong for whatever reason. I know I'm late to the party, don't judge me for it. 

Observations

Warlord Traits

The only one that really struck me was Storm of Fire, with Rites of War a trailing second. These aren't Tau Warlord Traits we're talking about here.

Chapter Tactics

This is probably the biggest part of the book in terms of additions, to me. I didn't know what to make of them, but I'm starting to see how they can play into army construction. While I doubt the codex needed this, it's certainly a nice tool to play around with, if you decide not to use a character.

Ultramarines:
Ultramarines Tactics are nice and flexible, if unreliable. By unreliable, I mean that you can only call on their rules once and that's it.

Tactical Doctrine:
Probably the standout best for Space Marines, tactical marines become very effective and sternguard and the like become better. Unfortunately, Space Marines can still fall short rolling twos, limiting the effectiveness of this doctrine. Finally, being a once-a-game power really limits how reliable this tactic is. If you're running a DPA army, I can see this having some devastating effects.

Assault Doctrine:
We'll ignore the fact that marines almost never charge, except for BT, which don't count because they can't take this doctrine. Fleet could be useful on bikes, but bikes benefit more from the White Scars powers than from ultramarines. (they also can't benefit from either of the other doctrines, making this a silly take.)

Devastator Doctrine:
I guess this could be useful if you had to march devastators up the field, or if you were expecting a heavy charge in the following turn?

As you can see, I don't think much of the ultrasmurf's powers.

White Scars:
Born in the Saddle:
Bikes pass Dangerous terrain tests automatically, gain +1 to jinks (giving them a standard 4+ if they move, I believe?) and +1 Str to their HOW. The HOW bonus is unimportant, but the other two can potentially make them better than dark angels bikes.

Fight on the Move:
What's not to like about Hit and Run on every model with S5 HOW?

I like these rules. They give SM bike lists legitimacy.

Imperial Fists
Bolter Drill:
Re-roll 1's made by bolt-weapons. A really nice rule, works great with Pedro Kantor and his ster- nevermind.

Siege Masters
Tank hunters and building hunters. Useful if you wanna run Devastators, something that is viable these days.

I'm a bit peeved that Kantor didn't have the mental fortitude to drill his veterans in the correct use of special issue ammunition, but you can't have everything, right?
(doing the math, it is always better to go with a hellfire round than a basic round. the poisoned 2+ math just stacks up better than the 3+ re-roll 1's math.)

Black Templars
Accept Any Challenge, no Matter the Odds:
I was expecting this to be more like the Honour or Death Special Rule, but no. A decent rule, giving BT characters a better chance in combats.

Crusaders:
Adamantium Will is okay, doubling most squads chances against psychic attacks. Too bad it's still on 33%.
Oh, and Crusader squads or whatever.


Iron Hands
the Flesh is Weak!
Oh my, 6+ FNP? sounds terrible, until you infuriate your opponent by passing it on your centurion sergeant with 1 wound and IWND.

Machine Empathy:
IWND on characters and all your tanks? I will be having a lot of fun with my never-die chapter master, centurions and land raider/storm raven spam, thankyou.
The blessing of the Omnissah bonus is nice if you wanna run LR spam.

Salamanders
Flamecraft:
Basically they maintain twin-linked on all flame weapons. Pretty cool, right?

Master Artisans:
MC on one weapon for each character? Can I give my sergeant the multi-melta already please?

Raven Guard:
Strike From the Shadows:
Holy shit, Scout on everything? scout on terminators with a land raider? scout  on centurion assault squads?
forget scout, outflank everything!

Oh wait, you can't charge off the flank anymore.

Winged Deliverance:
This is a nice rule, meaning that assault marines can use their jump packs to full effect. Hammer of wrath bonuses, once again.



Sunday, 1 September 2013

Tournament Experiences:

Preface

Hi guys, sorry it's been so long since I've done a post. I've had a hectic university study load at the moment. Hopefully you didn't miss me too much, or at all as the case may be. Anyway, about two weeks ago, over august 17 and 18th, I played in a regional (I hope that's the right word. It certainly wasn't local.) tournament, with about 56 players, split up into teams of four. My team and I - "Roll Sixes and Win" came seventh (out of 14 teams), I believe, although it was an uphill struggle for most of the games. This tournament is often heralded as one of the most competitive in my City, so my team and I were fairly happy to place as well as we did. 

Of course, I ran my Farsight bomb and I found a few problems it encountered against the more experienced players, and a few things that were exceptionally useful that I hadn't considered until one or two very friendly opponents pointed them out to me.

Tournament Etiquette

I have read a lot about how to behave in preparing for and attending a tournament. Partially so that I'll be taken seriously as an opponent, but also because when I try to become a part of a new form of competitive play, I like to blend into the existing strictures on behaviour. A lot of things stressed the importance of having all your equipment, knowing your rules and being transparent about rules queries and the niche rules of your army. That last one came up a lot, but I'll get to that later. Another interesting one that doesn't come up so often, but when we hear about it we take it for granted is the personal  hygiene side of things. While no one I played smelled particularly bad, a hall with 60 men who've been playing with toy soldiers is going to stink in the afternoon when you pack up. So, I found that it was really unnerving when someone smelled particularly bad. (I apologise if I was one of those people, my opponents!) 

Atmosphere

I found that the tournament had a very laid back atmosphere. Opponents had a good time, there was that geeky, hearty laugh abounding all the time and for the most part, rules disputes were resolved quickly. There was only one instance where my team needed a TO and it actually resolved itself before the TO got there. On that note - the Organisers - a Local Store called Alpha Hobbies - were very accessible when there was a problem with my list. 

I also found that the tournament pulled out all the stops for its players. While we had to pay for food (but, who expects a lunch when outside of home?), they were excellent about making sure every table had chairs for players to sit at, as well as providing enough terrain to make each table suitable to play on. 

Overall, my 5-game, $10 per-game experience was a positive one. IF you're a brisbane Local and haven't looked into Titans of War yet, I seriously suggest you do - it was well worth the time and the money put into it. My only regret, is that aganst a certain Daemons player, I forgot I had And they shall know no fear and allowed him to sweep my farsight bomb.

Personal Results

I found this tournament to be a big eye-opener to what my list can and cannot deal with.  I really struggled with Daemons, although I'm yet to figure out if this is because I'm incapable of dealing with them, or just that I'm not experienced enough in fighting daemons to actually understand what needs to die.

I played five games, two losses and three victories.Both losses against Daemons armies, neither of which I had had anywhere near enough experience playing against.

My victories were a major victory of 18-2 against Necrons - including a daring 39" Hit and run/Gate of Infinity/thrust move in my last turn to ensure my opponent could not hold an objective.

My second was a major victory of 14-6, but one where I was down to 5 scouts and 3 fire warriors and held two objectives to my opponent's one. (I failed to kill their crimson hunter, 6 war walkers or their  ranger team.) 

My final victory was a total victory of 19-1, where if the game had gone on a turn longer, it'd have been game on table. My opponent had 35 points left at the end of the game. 

Of all my games, the first was the most informative - I was thrown under the bus against a ranked australian player, my second was the most evenly matched - my opponent was me but running necrons, my third opponent was my biggest mistakes - not dealing with his war-walkers more swiftly. my fourth game, was one forgotten rule which cost me the game and my fifth, well, this was simply a terrible matchup for my opponent. 


Saturday, 10 August 2013

Command Squad: Support Suit

Preface:

The third Model in my Tau Farsight Bomb Command Squad, this support suit can either be a commander or a bodyguard. Either way he has, at minimum: A MSSS, C&CN, PEC, XV8-02 Armour, DC, CDS and VRT. He costs about 139 points although this still varies while I look to find my final (favourite) way to build my farsight bomb. Representing the various systems on the model proved a challenge, as he has 5 systems that need to be represented WYSIWYG. The model started out a little iffy, but by the time I was finished, I loved the look of the support suit. He's laiden with ridiculously complex-looking equipment, just right for the ridiculous tool that is the support suit. 

The Support Suit:

The first thing that should be imediately obvious is the weird pose of this suit. Since he has no guns, his arms are left kinda hanging around his chest. It's also notable that I reposed his leg in the air, simply because I hated the senic bit on the bottom.Unfortunately, this act left the model -very - unbalanced, so much so that I've put small pieces of brass in its base as well as gap filler.









I had to rummage through my bits to find suitable pieces. The most simple were the Drone Controller and CDS, on his jetpack stacks. One's a riptide bit and the other's a commander kit piece. More subtley beneath the jetpac stacks, I've added two pieces from the Riptide SMS bits - these are my "Vectored Retro Thrusters" I imagined being 'retro' thrusters, they have to face the opposite way to actual thrusters, making placement a non-issue. 

Representing the MSSS came easily in the form of the Hammer Head Sensor Spines (above, on the suit's arm) - It seemed an obvious idea that a tool designed to plot courses to traverse terrain would be able to identify threats. Also Noticeable on this suit is the inclusion of the Smart Missile System's frame on the hands - simply used to represent the enhanced protection of XV8-02 armour. I figured that the Enforcer Armour was already indicative of XV8-02 enhancements - my story for it is that the frames provide a kind of latent shielding that's weaker than a shield generator, but enough to greatly enhance the suit's protective capabilities, while also rendering the user more resilient to damage.
Finally, the NSJ, PEC and C&CN are represented by one nifty and understated gadget on the suit's helm. This piece is from the Pathfinder's kit, and is meant to go on as a backpack for the tau Pathfinder Shas'ui, shown left. 

The Final Part of this series is scheduled  to be posted soon, which will feature my GOI/NZ Librarian. After this is complete I will do a sort of "Armies on Parade" post. Until then!







 






Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Commander Farsight

Preface:

The Grand Master himself, Farsight. As BAMF as space marine captain, only he can actually kill things at range. Aside from granting the Farsight bomb's existence, Farsight gives it the ability to come into combat flawlessly as well as adding decent close combat capabilities. 

The Model 


Farsight is an Exquisite model from the base up. He has some brilliant aesthetic choices from the designers with only one really niggling issue, which is the way the Dawn Blade has a tau apparatus attached to it. There are also parts that look like mould vents but are actually part of the model itself.  Two prominent examples are the kind of hind toes the feet have and then that little blade catch on his right arm (right, perspectively above the handle of the blade.)

Of course, models can't have such a brilliant pose and - not have a flaw, this model's being that it didn't balance too well - not as bad as my Support suit, but enough that it needed some greenstuff in the base to weigh it down on inclines.



Farsight's also designed to have these two trailing tassles, pieces of cloth like long purity seals. I couldn't stand the idea of having them break, so I just removed them. Oh well.

Next in my little Exhibition will be my Tau Support Suit.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Commander Shadowsun

Preface:

Hey Guys! This will be part of a series on my Tau Farsight Bomb's "Command Squad". All of the Tau Models are finecast models of HQ characters. In this series is Commander Shadowsun, Commander Farsight, Sub-commander Torchstar (Not like the one from the Farsight Enclaves book - this one is a kitted out support suit.) As well as a Librarian. After this is complete, I'll do an Armies on Display type feature for my entire Farsight bomb. Without Further Ado, my Commander Shadowsun:

The Model

Shadowsun is one of those irritating models where sometimes the sculpt is really good. The face for example, is a really detailed one with a lot of opportunity to highlight. On the other hand, the cetral chestplate is fairly inacessible, making edge highlighting somewhat torturous. Overall though, a really cool sculpt. 

Even though Shadowsun is the cheapest of my 4 "Command Squad" members (being four points cheaper than the support suit if it has all the signature systems I take in the bomb), she adds one huge bonus. She also makes the squad very mobile, in the even that I don't take farsight's Through Boldness, Victory.

One thing that struck me as odd is the shape of her fusion blasters - they don't look like the natural fusion blasters found on suits or even on stealth suits. This prompted me to have a look at how old Shadowsun is, but I couldn't find any material. If anyone knows how old this sculpt is, I'd like to know at least what generation she came out.



As with all my battlesuits, I freehanded her rank onto the model. Unfortunately, there was nowhere suitable for me to do something similar to her armour so she only has one on her base.


In my next piece I'll be doing an exhibition of the new farsight model. Like this one Farsight's painted in my own colour scheme.

Until then!











Why is pinning so undervalued?

Preface:

Pinning is this really valuable tool that everyone ignores. People think it's a joke. In actual fact, pinning can do a lot of damage - not physically, but to the output of squads? yes. Let's explore, using the wondrous magic of mathhammer.

How pinning works 

Pinning is a very simple rule mechanic. If a weapon with the pinning rule causes an unsaved wound then the unit who took a wound must take a leadership test. If the unit succeeds, nothing happens. if they fail, the squad is forced to go to ground and thus can't perform any meaningful action in the next turn. (they can fire snap shots, which could do something.) Multiple pinning tests can be caused per turn, but simultaneous shooting can only cause one. 

How to make pinning work 

Pinning is often overlooked because it doesn't come up often, and when it does come up, there's usually a minimal chance it'll have an affect. Against the right targets - units that can survive a large amount of firepower and overwatc but want to be in combat, a successful (well, failed) pinning test can be a game winner, especially for shooting armies like Tau. 

Before I begin to explain the more complicated parts of this mathammer, let's make basics clear. 

Leadership 1 and 2 fails 97% of the time 
Leadership 3 92% of the time
Leadership 4 83% of the time
Leadership 5 72% of the time
Leadership 6 58% of the time
Leadership 7 42% of the time
Leadership 8 28% of the time
Leadership 9 17% of the time
Leadership 10 8% of the time

This means you need a pessimistic 13 pinning tests to ensure LD10 is pinned, Ld 9 still needs 6 - but this number is drastically reduced for even LD8 - where you only need four tests to ensure a fail. after that, 2-3 tests will ensure a fail in any given situation. 

Unfortunately, causing six tests on LD9 is usually enough to kill the potentially assaulting squad (terminators)*
or reduce it enough that it isn't a threat anymore (MEQ.) This means pinning finds its effectiveness against units who don't have the resolve of space marines. This is the ever popular Guardsmen, Fire Warriors, Out-of-synapse homargants and small squads of orks. 

I think the most important part of this tactic is that you have to realise that it won't always work, but sometimes it will debilitate your opponent. Most importantly, always force your opponent to take a pinning check if he has one to take. Pinning can never work if you pretend it simply doesn't exist.

* Before someone misinterprets this, I'm aware you can't pin on overwatch.

How to get Pinning in your army.

The very easiest way to produce an army that puts out a reliable amount of pinning is Tau. There are two ways to go about this. The first is Sniper Drone Teams, as snipers are BS5 and have long range. 9 sniper drones averages 15 hits at 24" range and 6 wounds - as well as 1.5 rends. 6 wounds means your target is bound to take one wound on average (except, if he has FNP.) Throw in an Ethereal and put three sniper drone teams behind an ADL and you're looking at .62 rends and at least .52 wounds, you should cause 3 pinning tests even at 48" range. This means you can pin even the most hardy non-fearless target by turn four, and most by turn 2. 

Another option is 14 gun drones and a commander with a Drone controller (I think a pair of burst cannons is best here - adds to the anti-infantry build.) Two of these units wounds T4 15.55 times, meaning it causes at least 2.5 wounds (not including commander's 8 shots.) Thus, two squads of these units coupled with the sniper teams (even without an ethereal, they put out enough firepower to cause a wound a turn.) costs about 1094 points, provides all the anti-infantry firepower an 1850 list would need as well as ensuring you can slow an opponent on their way to your lines. (It's also very mobile, save for the markerlights on the firesight marksmen, meaning it can keep its distance.)

Sunday, 28 July 2013

450 points of Barkham Blue. (Riptides)

Preface:

As of right now, I've finished my 1850 Tau Army. It is all Painted, based and ready to play, save for my "Comms Relay" (a converted Recon drone model.) These are my two riptides. Each is equipped the same, a Twin-linked Fusion Blaster, an Ion Accelerator, Vectored Retro Thruster and a Stimulant Injector. This makes each riptide worth 225 points, which is a bargain for their staying power. On the table, they're there to take the punishment before I can deploy my farsight bomb. Once the Farsight bomb is deployed, they provide fire support: Their S7-9 AP2 weapon ensures that heavy infantry or tank targets can be dealt with effectively. In the event that I play the Farsight Enclaves, the crouching riptide will be carrying the mirrorcodex, the leaping riptide the Earth Caste Piloting array. 

The Miniatures

So here are my two riptides. The one on the perspective left I'll refer to as "Leaping" and the one on the right, "crouching". At the time photos were taken, the sealing and detailing PVA/water mix wasn't finished, so the models appear to have a very milky white base - this is merely an oversight on my part, it matches all my other units in the farsight bomb. 
So here's the Leaper - my second riptide, but the more interesting pose. He's meant to look as though he's leaping from the sky, aiming his Ion Accelerator at a target he'd just reduced to smoldering ashes. 

This riptide's just a little bit taller than the crouching riptide, so he's the one I'll use if there won't be much cover to protect me. If there's a chance that line of sight will be blocked by terrain, the crouching riptide's on it like flies to rotten meat. If my enemy can't see him, but I can jump/shoot/jump them, then I'm in for one irritated opponent.

 The leaping riptide's pose was based on the standard pose of the New Resin Tau Commander (Modified version Pictured).

because of the pose, the model did need to have the flying stand. Who would've thunk? You could actually use it!


The other Riptide I've affectionately named the "Croucher". I loved the fact that the model makes it possible to have riptides crouch and I knew I had to act on this. hence, this riptide is in its pose.

I thought the riptide would crouch to reduce its body size and make the most of its riptide shields. Hence, the riptide shield generator is in the air and the ion accelerator is almost sheathed, facing the ground.




To add to the effect of the riptide protecting itself, I made what my friends have 'affectionately named' the dartboard.

This is a piece of plasticard mounted on a flying stand, with greenstuff sculpted to look like ripples in a quintessential "kinetic shield" (you know the kind I mean - the one in all the movies where shields are a thing.)

The green object in the middle is a missile taken from the Tactical Marine Kit.


Of course, the model had to have a *reason* to be protecting itself, so I modeled him to have taken some damage. On his right thigh, he's taken some rending damage, from an assault cannon or similar weapon. on the left thigh, he's taken a melta shot which one could only assume would've crippled the user inside, were it not for his stimulant injector.

The kit also has a neat feature of having the legs and torso separate, meaning it was possible to not glue the body together, making packaging easier. This also mans each riptide's body is interchangeable, the result rather appealing.

Next, I'll be showing off my farsight bomb command squad. The final parts to my Farsight bomb Tactica are to come, as well.





Monday, 22 July 2013

First impressions of the Farsight Enclave.

Preface:

Hi guys, I've been in another city for a family holiday. I will be continuing my all 'round coverage of the Tau Farsight bomb, but since I just got home and just downloaded the farsight enclave book, I figured now was a brilliant time to analyse the supplement. Allow me to start that before going into this book, I can't possibly see this book as competitive as many tournaments won't allow it, although it does have some particularly powerful units and unit combinations, as well as the Tau Codex first: Battlesuit troops.

What changes:

The Farsight Enclave seeks to change how the player runs the Tau. The Enclaves are as radically different to the original empire as the commander is to his kin. That said, the book fails to change too much. Most notable restrictions are that you can't take Aun'va or Commander Shadowsun in the enclaves army, although the book allows the player to run darkstrider or longstrike, as well as not explicitly disallowing the player from running either shadowsun or Aun'va from being part of an Allies list (or vice versa.)

The book makes up for this by providing players with a grand total of 7 new unique characters, all with their own special equipment (they don't have any expressly special rules, save for two.) These units are arranged in an ensemble called "The 8" and include a Fio'O - an Earth caste "Planner" (commander)

Most importantly, the tau of the farsight enclave are able to fight with battlesuits as troops - In fact, the codex makes it necessary to take at least one unit of 3 suits. The price of this upgrade? Any model with the ability to buy the bonding knife ritual, must buy the bonding knife ritual. Aside from Crisis Bodyguards, this means all units cost one point more, as a "tax". In exchange for this price hike, they all get preferred enemy against orks in close combat.

Finally, the farsight enclave gives 6 new and rather wonderful signature systems to try out. Unfortunately, all of these come at the cost of the original Tau Signature systems - goodbye MSSS, C&CN, PEC and NSJ (Not really, there are ways around this.)

Ultimately, the Farsight enclave does two things:

Ensures players can legally take crisis battlesuits as troops

and

Ensures no one uses a farsight bomb. Seriously. This expansion book ruins farsight bombs, unless you're willing to take an ally with a commander.

Farsight Battlesuit troops 

Let me just begin by saying that Battlesuit troops have been asked for for a long, long time. This book does it well, also ensuring that casualties don't get to them by forcing the player to give them the bonding knife ritual. This is a point upgrade, which, for the most part (gaining the scoring type and preferred enemy in combat against orks) is a price well worth its product. The heroic morale bit might come in handy, too. 

This has a few unexpected effects, as giving Tau a fast scoring troop is the final nail in the coffin for Devilfish (I never used them anyway) and marginalises Kroot and Fire warriors (10 point fire warriors starts to rack up...) On the flipside, Stealth suits are suddenly a consideration, as you don't have to call your elites slots "Precious" anymore. alternatively, it is perfectly possible to have 4 riptides without an ally. (you bastard.)
While I would suggest running the battlesuits in much the same spirit one used them in Tau Empire book, it is my belief that burst cannons may come in handy now. A build like this would ensure the lack of fire warriors isn't harmful, while providing a hidden fusion blaster suit.

2 Dakkasuits (One with VRT, one with DC) and a Tank hunter suit (with TL) gives the player 28 S5AP5 shots, 12 of which are Twin-linked and cause pinning. Alternatively, one could go with 3 dakkasuits - although I can't think of a support system for the third. 

Otherwise, Plasma Nomad and Tank hunter squads can be taken as normal - except that you can take more of them.

Another note is that  Tau now also become able to produce the second (?) cheapest MSU, after Grey Knight Lackeyspam. While I wouldn't recommend it, 5 squads of 1 battlesuit in reserve could ensure you capture - or contest - key objectives because they're irritating to kill turn 4. 

Signature systems 

I don't know that I should talk about the signature systems in detail, I haven't been able to fully comprehend when or where they're taken. An interesting note is that because of the Earth Caste Pilot Array, the Farsight Enclaves give signature system access to Riptides. Things such as the Mirror codex could make a riptide an excellent anchoring point for a mobile gunline. 

The 8 


Aside from The independent character riptide, Commander Brightsword and Farsight, all of these are small bargains for what they have, but they're all subpar. Even brightsword is forced to be subpar, because of fusion blades having to be a twin-linked fusion blaster rather than two fusion blasters. 

Is it competitive?

Overall, I would say yes. Merely because Battlesuits as troops is a really, really powerful tool. It not only makes tau viable objective holders, but also ensures stealth suits are a consideration, or alternatively frees space for more riptides. Because of their price increase, firewarriors linger on the edge of not valuable and kroot become a joke. 

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Farsight Bomb Configurations: The Bomb itself.

Preface:

Hi Guys, this is the continuation of my last post, regarding the basics of farsight bomb building. In this article, I hope to look at building the farsight bomb itself. Specifically, I'll look at the so-called "Raven", although I'll be referring to him simply as the support suit. The name is silly and I refuse to use it. I then plan to look at the signature systems that should be included on him, and the signature systems that should be left elsewhere. I'll also look in depth at the weapon options available to the farsight bomb, the drone options and I'll look more in depth a the extra HQ options. I'll also include an important comment on the Comms Relay, which, for all intents and purposes may as well be a part of the 

The Support Suit

I need to get something clear right now: As much as one can pretend that it is, the farsight bomb's support suit is not optional. Farsight's squad wouldn't be anything more than two crisis battlesuit teams mashed together were it not for this support suit. Since this is covering the bomb itself, I will assume you're taking a Shas'vre as the suit. There are a number of benefits to running a commander as the support suit, as I will discuss later. 

Firstly, let's understand that the support Shas'vre can take a potentially unlimited amount of signature systems. This is important, as it means that they can have potentially every signature system, while not having to worry about those same systems taking up a support slot. This means that the suit can carry its important systems - the Multi-spectrum Sensor Suite, that ignores cover, and the  Command and Control Node, that allows all weapons to be twin-linked - and carry other useful support systems for the squad. 

Without any extra upgrades, a Bodyguard with MSSS and C&CN costs 67 points per model. You still have 3 slots for certain upgrades. I will list your options quickly:

Weapons:

The only useful option is the flamer. Although you shouldn't ever dream of using it during the shooting phase, 2 or 3 extra S4AP5 shots on overwatch never hurt anything.

Support systems:

Lots of options here. The two most useful are the VRT, for hit and run on Farsight's initiative 5 and the Drone Controller - assuming you're not running a commander separately with a DC, raising your gun drones to BS3 can change your shooting odds from about 15/28 hits to as much as 21/28 hits. definitely a consideration. If you decide to equip your support suit. with XV8-02 armour, a stimulant injector is a good idea - it's like a 5+ invulnerable save against anything >S10, and it makes sure your support suit takes fewer wounds from small arms fire.

Another consideration is the Positional relay - this costs the same as your flamer upgrade, while arguably being more tactically useful. If you have your suit in the right place on Turn 4, you can ensure that your suit is in the right place (6" from a specific board edge) and you can bring a kroot or scout squad to outflank onto an objective.

An alternative to the Positional relay is the CDS. This piece of kit will give your Drone-controller wielding suit BS2 - meaning your Drones will be the most accurate units in the game on overwatch.

Extra signature systems: 

I've already had a look into the two main systems (MSSS and C&CN), but there are a number of other systems one should consider when building their farsight bomb. The most important for the support suit is the XV8-02 armour. If you're taking a commander, this is an auto-take - T5, 2+ save and a 5+ fnp on 4 wounds ensures that your support suit won't die. It's still something to consider on a Shas'vre.

Other systems that should be included are the Neuroweb System Jammer and the Puretide Engram Chip. I would consider placing these on other models to your support suit - that way, if your support suit gets sniped out, you don't lose all your special rules.

The Sub-commander

I've affectionately named the bearer of the secondary support systems "Sub commander". He's not a support system jockey - he's a normal Shas'(el)vre suit. I tend to make him a Plasma gun / Plasma gun / Target lock suit - this way, he can use the NSJ while being in an optimal shooting position. Realistically, it makes no difference who carries the NSJ - it just seems silly to leave your support suit within 12" of enemy fire, unless you've already gone balls-deep - in which case, it doesn't matter who holds the NSJ anyway. 

Note:
I forget about the Neuroweb system jammer every game. I highly recommend players write NSJ on their hand or forehead so they might remember it occasionally. 

PEC

The other system the sub commander should carry is the Puretide Engram Neurochip. This fifteen point upgrade is a beauty.  It gives you one of five (three powers) every turn. I'll list them quickly here:

Furious Charge: Doesn't transfer to the squad, not very useful at all. 4 S6 attacks at WS2 won't even scrape a marine. 

Counter Attack: Once again, doesn't transfer to the squad, and is not very useful.  4 S5 attacks at WS2 won't even scratch a marine while he tears your suit's limbs off. 

Stubborn: Does transfer to the squad! This power is the default - LD 10 means you won't get swept very often if the bomb gets wrecked in assault, usually you can break off with hit and run after passing your stubborn leadership check.

Hunters: both Monster and Tank hunter transfer to the squad. Obviously, there's no point in using either power if you don't have a monster or tank to shoot at. However, the turn you come down, you can ensure your weapons do maximum damage against those primary targets. Make this choice carefully. You can't take on both forms of this power, so look at your targets - if you can bring down the tanks without tank hunters (Melta range, for example), go monster hunters. if the monster is a daemon prince or similar flyer, it's probably best to ignore it unless it is your primary target. 

The Protection Detail. 

Here I was going to look into detail about all the guns, but there isn't too much insight I can give here. If you can't see that burst gun detail is covered by gun drones and that flamers and special weapons are too situational to be useful, I don't think I can be much use to you. I hate to be the guy telling you "this won't work", but, well, this Burst cannons, Flamers, CIB and AFP systems are all really bad for the farsight bomb.

This leaves the three viable options as the Plasma Gun, Missile Pod and the Fusion blasters. I'll explain what you should consider when kitting out your suits. Before I continue, I've pretty much gone off most other support systems that aren't called the Target lock. At least for the farsight bomb, there really isn't a much more useful tool.

I'll also explain my priorities system: I'm trying to give my readers an idea of how their fire selection should be split up. These will not apply to every situation, nor should you assume they will - if you need a T3 model with no save dead because it's the only thing holding an objective, it is more important than a higher priority target.

I'll start with the easiest.

Fusion Blasters: S8AP1 melta can deal with anything. Give it twin-linked, ignores cover, Tank/Monster hunters and potentially force your opponent to re-roll successful invulnerable saves*, and you're looking at the most versatile weapon in the game. The only issue Fusion blasters face is that there's simply never enough of them in terms of dice rolled. That said, I wouldn't take more than 4 - they simply don't put out enough shots.
Support systems: Target Lock.

Priorities:
AV13/14, Monstrous Creatures. T4 W2+.
Secondaries:
AV12, T6 (that isn't a monster.)** Terminators
Tertiaries:
Scoring troops, AV10-11.

Plasma Guns: Not nearly as good as the Fusion blaster, but having four shots makes this tool ideal for dealing with threats that it is identical to the fusion blaster against.
Consider no more than 3.
Support Systems: Target Lock or ATS on no more than 1.

Priorities:
AV11, Terminators, Scoring troops / Marines.
Secondaries:
AV12 or 10, Monstrous creatures.
Tertiaries
T7+ (that is not a monster).

Missile Pods: One usually takes Missile Pods for their long range but a farsight bomb likes to go balls-deep. For this reason, I do not advise that the player takes missile pods - their range simply won't make up for the AP4 in the long run. Consider no more than 2.
Support systems: Target Lock.

Priorities:
T5+ (with a save worse than 4.) 4+ armour saves, AV10/11.
Secondaries:
Monsters, T6+. AV12.
Tertiaries

Tactical marines, terminators.

Drones

Believe it or not, Drones are the best part of the Tau Codex. The unspoken 12 point heroes. Here, I'll discuss the three kinds of drones available to each suit, the benefits of each kind of suit and why it may be useful to you.

      Gun Drones


I've tried to write this paragraph seven or so times. I can't find the right words to describe how useful gun drones are. Let's look at what you get. For 12 points, you get a T4 fire warrior who's slightly less accurate but has a better initiative and is faster. On top of this, we get a twin-linked Pulse Carbine. Let's have a look at a twin-linked pulse carbine for a moment.

At BS 2, one pulse carbine (shooting two shots) kills .246 of a marine. That means four gun drones kill about 1 marine. This means 14 gun drones kill about 3.46 marines. A Pulse Carbine also has the pinning rule. At Ld9, a model has a 1/4 chance of failing his pinning check. Assuming you cause just a single unsaved wound, This is a 1/4 chance that you will ensure that that squad does nothing next turn. 

How about on overwatch, right?  even if you don't run with a CDS, you're looking at .135 unsaved wounds per gun drone. this means about 7 drones are needed to kill a Tactical marine. Guess what? You still cause pinning on a 25% chance. A pinned squad can't assault you.

Two lessons to take from my notes on Gun Drones:
Pinning is really powerful, when you give it a chance to work. 
Gun Drones make for very accurate overwatch. 

Tactics: IF you're running shadowsun and you're capable, put these guys out the front of your unit, preferably in area terrain. In Area terrain, they do have to take a dangerous terrain check, but they then get a 2+ cover save. This means very little firepower can actually get through to your suits - even in the open, put them in front. Also, try to keep only one suit in coherency of the drones then keep them in coherency with other drones. This way, if a drone does die, the next target will most likely be another drone.

The most important tactic is to roll multiple dice. roll 2 dice if you have a 4+ save. Roll 3 if you have a 3+ save if you have a 2+ save, roll 6 (or as many wounds as you've taken.) If you have one drone with a 2+ cover save, and the first roll you make is a one, you lose that 2+ cover save - if you roll 6 dice and roll two ones, the drone has to take a wound, as does the next model but is considered to have passed all the 2+ saves - this means that your 2+ drone can tank 4 S8AP3 wounds for the battlesuit hiding behind him.

Eighth times the charm, eh?

Shield Drones:


Before I continue, I want you to think of how many commonly used weapons have AP4 (or better) and ignores cover. Most of them are flamers, right? Other than a few barrage weapons, your opponent's gonna have to come within 12" to use the weapons that will deny all the saves available to your drones, but, that doesn't stop them being viable ways to deal with the farsight bomb. While I wouldn't consider having fewer than 10 gun drones in any farsight bomb, you should consider a few shield drones if your meta contains lots of S6+ AP3- weapons that ignore cover. 

Marker Drones

Markerdrones are a conundrum. If you shoot 4 marker drones at BS3, you get 2 markerlights on a target, ensuring your riptide can ruin it. The problem with this tactic is that usually, 14 gun drones will wreck a target that 10 gun drones couldn't. For this reason, I don't recommend Marker drones. IF they had networked markerlights, we'd be singing a different tune. 

What's next?

This ends the part of my tactica on building your farsight bomb. Next time, I'll look into more detail on the things I haven't finished today - that is, Independent characters and fortifications. Until next time, lads! 




Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Farsight Bombs: the basics.

Preface

Soon enough, I'll be heading off to a tournament with a few friends. At 1850 points, I decided to go full hack and take a large, expensive farsight bomb. Today I'll be looking at some of the ways that one might choose to run a farsight bomb, what to look out for, how to support the farsight bomb and most importantly, what needs to be considered in building a farsight bomb. It is worth noting I won't be considering farsight bombs lower than 6 suits total, as 3 bodyguards might as well be an xv8 team, 4 suits can be done with a commander in an XV8 team for about the same cost, so 5 suits and farsight is the limit. I'll make a point of having a look at options for extra characters, how to enhance the survivability, output or maneuverability of the farsight bomb.

The Basics:

Firstly, you need to remember that Farsight still leads an Army. This means you can't simply build your 'bomb' and ignore the need for troops and support. I personally run a very small contingent of troops, having fewer than 30 models as my troops selection. One could comfortably have 40 kroot as troops while running an expensive farsight bomb, but I don't like kroot - either as a concept or to paint - enough to run them en massé. How you get the necessary troops is up to you, although I do recommend having at least 4 troop choices, with at least 300 points dedicated to them. One could get away with 2 troop choices in fifth-edition, sixth edition doesn't allow this to happen so readily. Of course, the other basic requirement is your warlord - this isn't an issue of course, since farsight is your warlord!* Finally, a true farsight bomb makes use of Farsight's impressive ability to deepstrike a unit 25-strong without scattering, which means one should plan his support for the bomb around having sufficient troops to survive the first two turns. This makes an ADL with a Comms relay a solid purchase - you improve farsight's chance of bringing your bomb on turn one, while giving your troop choices a solid piece of 4+/2+ cover to hide behind. IF you're against an ADL or are uncomfortable with wasting valuable points on fortifications (points are a valuable in a farsight bomb.) there are other options, as I'll discuss later. 

* certain configurations or deployments may mean that another character, like shadowsun, is your warlord. We'll talk about this in a moment

The Support 

The Tau Codex is one of the best inter-unit synergy codexes in the game. Because of the price of pathfinders, it is easy to support your army without spending points that could well be used elsewhere. The problem with this, of course, is that the farsight bomb is more than capable of giving up a member's firepower to make itself more accurate and more dangerous. For this reason, a farsight bomb can comfortably overlook the use of pathfinders - though BS5 with twin linked and ignores cover on guns means more will hit and kill. 

Since pathfinders aren't as useful to a farsight bomb as, say, a broadside team or a normal XV8 unit, it is safe to say that Bomb support lies in units other than markerlights. To this end, we look at units who can do some footwork for the battle suits, or, alternatively, make a nuisance of themselves to draw firepower away from the farsight bomb. The most obvious, most effective example of what I'm talking about is, of course, the ubiquitous riptide. I'm not gonna lie, these guys are great. Stick an ion accelerator along with a VT and a SI, and you have a unit that can:

  1. take a horrendous amount of firepower without going down (196 BS3 S3/4 AP-/5 shots, 67 BS3 S7AP4 shots, 15 S9AP2 shots).
  2. Deal with flyers effectively (yes, 3 shots, but if one pens then it may simply make it explode. It's enough to put off enemies using flyers.)
  3. Deal with heavy armour (a 55% chance to knock off a hull point on AV14, with a novacharge from the ion accelerator.) 
  4. Deal with infantry. 
Of course, in using a riptide for a farsight bomb, it'll be fighting at medium range. I believe it's best to use it alongside either a Fusion blaster (make the most of ripplefire against a flyer) or a SMS (put out the maximum amount of shots against light flyers and infantry.) Regardless of how you run them, the riptide is the best choice when it comes to finding a support unit for the farsight bomb.

Other options:

If one was adamantly against the use of riptides, he could consider broadside teams - they provide the necessary anti-air firepower and are a slightly lesser target, meaning their S7AP4 shots can be relied upon more often in the game (assuming they're in range, of course.) Just remember that your support units need to be able to survive turn one for you. 

The First Turn 

The First turn is the achilles heel of the Farsight bomb. It doesn't matter that your bomb is unstoppable on the field if your opponent tables you before they have a chance to come in. Especially with an expensive bomb, it is important to make sure that you put as much on the field on the first turn as possible - the more separate units your opponents have to fire at, the less likely they are to table you first turn. To this end, I suggest that the tau player invest in many cheap infantry units, or, if he is capable, run two riptides. A single riptide at 1850 will draw most of an opponents firepower, so two means that the first turn is almost not an issue. what else is important to note is that it doesn't matter if the farsight bomb side goes first or not - the farsight bomb will get the first strike, since it will deep strike exactly where it wants to. Because of this, I suggest that you relinquish the first turn. You take just as much firepower as you would've if you'd gone first and let them have a turn of shooting, but now you can sweep objectives with your 2d6" assault turn moves. 

The Bomb 

Firstly, it is silly to go with a farsight bomb much smaller than 6 members. You should also take as many drones as you can - the more drones you have, the fewer sixty-point battlesuits will drop. The best option to use here is gundrones - Shield drones seem like the best ablative wound, until one considers that they do nothing at shooting. 14 gun drones is 28 shots, even at BS2, 14 gun drones can kill 3 marines. This means three less marines you have to target with fusion blasters. Gun drones are also good at killing other death star's ablative wounds - a beast squad's khymerae, for example, die as easily to a pulse carbine as they do to a plasma rifle. this means it's best to make your opponent save the 13.5 wounds your gun drones will cause on their 4+ invulns, before instant-deathing their razorwing flocks with plasma guns.

Secondly, one should always have a support suit before anything else. The reason for this is very simple. A MSSS, C&CN suit with a VRT, drone controller and a flamer (for overwatch, eh) costs about 80 points. You only save about 10 points taking a battlesuit with actual weapons, but think about what you gain! suddenly, your unit has twin-linked on all its weapons, as well as ignores cover. Furthermore, 4 more plasma gun shots at BS3 is only 2 hits - if you already have 12 plasma gun shots, this amounts to 8 hits from 16 shots the same as you would get from 12 twin-linked plasma shots, only the 12 twin-linked plasma shots also ignore cover. This also eliminates the farsight bomb's need for markerlight support, meaning that you can have it far away from the rest of your army and still functioning effectively. Finally, it mans that suits can use their third slot for a support system, rather than trying to twin-link their weaponry.

The most important point is, what weapons should the suits take? Well, aside from the support suit taking a flamer, you should note that flamers and burst cannons are pretty bad ideas. You already have 28 S5AP5 shots, so adding more AP5 shooting won't help much. The CIB and AFB might be useful in the right conditions, but you can only take one of each, so it's usually best to take them on an HQ if you're going to bother. This leaves 3 contenders: The Missile Pod, The Plasma Gun, the Fusion Blaster. All 3 of these are specialised. to that end, it is correct to take two of them on a single suit. I believe in a 7-man team, it is only natural to take 3 with fusion blasters - although fusion blasters have the lowest shot count of the three, they have the best statline in terms of strength and AP, and are effective against infantry at 18". They surpass plasma rifles in taking out the heaviest infantry - it takes 2.4 fusion blaster shots to kill a paladin, but 7.1 plasma gun shots. This means that Fusion blasters are actually far more versatile than plasma guns, as they can deal with armour and super heavy infantry far more effectively. (A plasma gun wins against heavy and medium infantry, however.) This means that the final 3 slots are contested for either plasma guns or missile pods. As a general rule, missile pods are subpar compared to plasma guns, since they can't penetrate heavy armour and wound T4 at the same rate as plasma guns (without causing instant death), their only real power over plasma guns is their increased range - this, of course, is made useless by the fact that the farsight bomb can deep strike without scattering. Thus, I suggest plasma guns over missile pods. Fusion blasters should be taken with target locks, Plasma rifles with target Locks or ATS and missile pods with either EWO or target locks.

An idea that sometimes gets thrown about is running farsight outside the bomb, maybe in a different battlesuit unit (one dedicated to killing tanks, for example.) I personally think this is a garbage proposal and only serves to limit the bomb's capabilities.

The final thing one should note with the farsight bomb is that it is very, very, very easy to go overboard. When building your farsight bomb, make sure you get the necessities in first - 6 battlesuits with guns, 1 with support systems, 14 drones. This should cost about 700 AT MOST. (that's pushing it.) Aside from the four feasible signature systems, the C&CN, MSSS, PEC and NSJ (Maybe the XV8-02 or onager gauntlet, but I Wouldn't recommend it on normal battlesuits.) you should not invest in SS. These points can be put to better use producing infantry to hold objectives and won't really help your farsight bomb too much. 

Accompanying HQ's

Before we begin, note that wound spreading in a farsight bomb is impeccably easy. since you don't roll Look out sir!, you are pretty safe using an HQ as a meatshield before the actual bullets start flying. 

Firstly, it is a given that farsight accompanies his bomb. this shouldn't even really be in question. He makes sure the bomb drops with pinpoint accuracy. This also means that taking HQ's who make deepstriking easier is a waste of time. HQ's who buff shooting or assault are pretty much a waste of time as well, since the support already gives them pretty hefty buffs. This rules out an eldar farseer on a jetbike. Finally, any HQ that joins the farsight bomb needs to be able to deepstrike. This leaves 3 useful HQ's that accompany a farsight bomb, that I know of.

The first is Shadowsun. She's brilliant. For 135 points, she gives every man in the squad a 4+ cover save, even the drones (meaning they shrug off pesky missiles very easily.) She also gives 2 BS5 (Precision hits 5+) fusion blasters, one of which can shoot at a different target. If you have the points, she's almost a must-have. She can also add a further three drones to the unit, although all three drones make her rather expensive. (I believe they bring her price up to 195?) she can also take wounds that won't instant death her for the squad, since she has 4 wounds.

Addition:
As my friend "Saythings" on dakka has pointed out, one could also concievably use Shadowsun's 3D6 thrust moves. While this makes the GOI libby useless (discussed below), it does mean that the squad can jet around the field rather reliably, as well as get out of sticky situations. Personally, I'd rather use a gate libby, but the option of 3D6" thrust moves is presented by Shadowsun.

The second is an XV8-02 commander. These guys are tough. Adding 4 BS5 plasma gun shots to the equation, they also have the capacity to give your gun drones BS5 - making them very effective. Suit him up with 2 PG, a Stim, a Drone controller as well as an XV8-02 suit, and you have 16 BS5 drones (32 shots), a 4 wound T5 2+ save with FNP to sit at the front of your squad and catch bullets with his teeth.

The final option is a GOI librarian. Put him in terminator armour with a storm shield and a scout marine squad, he can deepstrike with the farsight bomb (put him in the middle so he doesn't affect thrust moves) and then he can use gate of infinity to move the farsight bomb very quickly around the place. The libby can also be given the power nullzone, meaning that if you don't gate (you can if you upgrade to epistolary, but that's precious points), you make things like hammernators wet themselves.

Given the price of a GOI libby and that of an XV8-02 commander, I don't recommend taking both of them at the same time - it's simply too pricey. Although the XV8 commander is about 1.5 times the cost of the libby, you still have to buy a scout squad for the librarian, meaning they cost about the same. 

Things to keep in mind

The first thing is, Bodyguards use the Shas'vre profile in combat - this means they get an extra attack at S5. This has saved my backside many-a-time. The second is that your VRT gives you hit and run, you don't have to test hit-and-run on the initiative of the bearer - you may use farsight's I5, or, if you've got a suitable character (like a phoenix lord or autarch), you may use their I. Finally, and this may not be an issue for you, but for me it is, I recommend writing the letters "NSJ" on your hand. That way, you might remember that powerful little 2 point upgrade occasionally. (I never can.)

Parting thought: 

IF you're reading this now, you've just finished my treatise on the farsight bomb. I hope you've gotten all the information you needed regarding farsight bombs and a good indepth analysis of their tactics in this little thought. This is by far my longest tactics threat ever, and possibly longer than any paper I've ever written - I believe it's just over 2,400 words. 

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Tau ionhead reporting in

Preface:

Progress has slowed down a bit. Namely, I have nothing left to paint. Oh well. I've finished my riptide at this stage, and I'm starting a box of kroot. I don't really like kroot, they seem complicated. Never a good thing for an infantry boxed squad that costs a grand total of 96~112 points. (have you thought about that, by the way? Kroot have terrible price-per-point.) Anyway, this is an ionhead with SMS. Possibly one of the best anti-troop weapons out there (save for the almighty heldrake), ionheads can put the hurt on light vehicles and heavy infantry. I just wish they could nova charge, too.

The model

I actually originally painted my hammerhead to be a grey colour scheme. I dumped it when I moved to my current green. However, I never stripped my hammerhead. In the end, I kept it grey and simply painted in the red for the grooves. The result is rather appealing, if I do say so myself.

Of course, the grey is actually camoflauge. I did that using masking tape. 
The hammerhead's main gun is an ion cannon. because this was originally a rail gun, the ion cannon wasn't painted grey. I decided it'd be the unique part and be green, tying it into the rest of my army.

Oh, the gun is also on the turret backwards. Don't hate it 'cause it's beautiful. 



Hey, How're you enjoying my thoughts? Well, let me tell you: If you've got any questions, be sure to leave a comment below. Alternatively, you can contact me as Scipio Africanus (with a space) on Dakkadakka, or under diaord@hotmail.com. I will do my best to respond to comments and questions as quickly as possible.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Objectives complete

Preface

Everyone says "Oh damn, these scouring missions are really hard to play without objective markers." yeah, you're right. I've had far too many disputes over the value of a single objective for it to be reasonable. When I saw a relatively flat surface of the XV8's shield generator support system, I realised they could be upturned relatively easily to produce a random point objective for each player to take and place. 

I've freehanded on the numbers necessary, using a brush with exceptionally long bristles. I find it's a lot easier to write with. You'll also notice my Relic objective, taken from the Stealth suit kit (which I bought solely for bits.)

Friday, 7 June 2013

XV8 Battlesuits are finished

Preface

I really like Battlesuits from a tactical point. They're versatile (especially now) and can be loaded out to deal with anything. I believe that if I could take an army of XV8 battlesuits, with scoring battlesuits to boot. (Stealth teams, but don't tell a soul), I'd have a cost-effective army that would put the hurt on any foe, while being suitably. Eh. A kid can dream, can't he?

Right now, I've painted 960 points. I'm in the process of painting my 240 point riptide. After this, I have a commander, 12 fire warriors, 7 pathfinders, 26 kroot with 2 extra hounds and 2 tanks left to paint. 51 wounds and 6 hull points crammed into 800 points? yay! 

The models: Plasma Nomads

Battlesuits are cool. I'm sorry, but of all the aesthetics of 40k, battlesuits have to be the best in my opinion. The idea of 3 highly trained veterans with extensive gear crashing into a battle with a specific mission in mind is the stuff of good games. 

the fact that they do it with 6 gun drones swarming around them is in no way a less exciting prospect. 

Anyway, I'll stop gushing about green and red aliens who have blue skin and slits for noses. I sound like a fangirl. 

I decided I'd go with a pattern on the "Heads" and the ATS parts of the model. The first thing you'll notice about these battlesuits is that they each seem to have 2 support systems and 2 plasma guns. I decided that it would look better if the ATS was a dual-support system, something linked specifically to each gun. I considered swapping the ATS positions with the plasma guns, so that the hands could direct the fire of the plasma guns, but I hated the look of the gun slung over the back. 

You'll also notice I opted out of the comms aerial that's usually put on the helmets, well, I did it with all my models. I just don't like those aerials. 

Finally, the Shas'vre in this case has an extra bright orange stripe over his head pattern. Normal members simply have a red and yellow pattern. As I'll show you later on, all the models were also given squad markings, denoting their ranks.





The Models: The Final Fusion Blaster

Yes, with the finishing of one squad of XV8s I found the finishing of the other too. 

You'll notice imediately this guy isn't finished, simply in bits. I didn't think I'd finish him by the time I'd taken the photos, but as luck would have it I shoved him out. Possibly the most unimaginative of my designs, I had a vision of him focusing both his fusion blasters into the centre of his target. 



 Edits: Squad Markings

In the end, I painted everything I had, so I decided to paint up some Squad markings. After doing this, I went full out and gave squad markings to every member of my army. Here's some takes of the Plasma team's markings:

This one's markings are on his shoulder because he has a bit in the place the rest of them have it on.




 That's where the battlesuits are meant to have it. All of them do otherwise. Fire warriors have it on their shoulder plate and models without a suitably large flat surface simply have it on their base (all models have it on their base.)

I didn't bother giving drones markings. It'd take far too long.
 The Shas'vre has earned his stripes. Hah. He has an extra stripe to show that he's more seniorerer than the rest of his team.


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Cadre Battlestandard Bearer

Preface

This model was made as part of a larger project, for a unit that provides bonuses similar to that of the Ethereal without actually being an Ethereal. This idea is meant to be used for Tau who don't follow ethereals (I.e; Farsight Enclaves and their offshoots.) 

The Design

The Cadre BSB was made from spare parts from 3 different kits. The bomb in his hand is an exposed charge for the Ion Rifle from the pathfinder kit, as well as both arms and the torso being from that kit. I didn't want to use Pathfinder legs too, since they don't have enough armour to justify a 4+ save, so I improvised. The bonding knife is from the Fireblade.






I considered giving him an honour blade in place of the knife, but I felt it would be too divergent from Tau and their way of war. I also opted out of giving him a pulse pistol. It was too hard to find a suitable place to model it on.

So the BSB is a Shas'vre. As such, he may call upon drones to better his cause. Pictured with him is a converted rail drone (what a sniper drone used to be.) and a Shield drone. In game, he'll only have gun drones in my mind.

The banner is simply a transfer from the hammerhead kit. Unfortunately, they didn't have any red transfers and I was too chicken to colour in the transfer's whit parts once I'd painted it on.





 I paid a little more attention to this modela s I painted him, as you can see on the face's details. The banner was done using a modified Greatswords piece, the only thing really changing was that I had to remove an arm and a laurel.



The hunter Cadre as it stands now. The ethereal makes for a brilliant focus point, in my opinion.