Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Tau Hunter Cadre deployed

The Rise of the Tau

So I bought the Tau Codex when it came out. I was going to have a flip through, see what I liked and then start to paint up some models to use as allies if I liked them. I found an army bursting with codex-level synergy and lacking weaponry below Strength 5. In fact, the only S4 weapons I could find were the Flamer and the AFP.
Suits and accompanying drones

I also found an army with some really nice opportunities to make pleasing models that wouldn't take too much effort to paint.  At writing this, I've painted roughly 430 points. Not pictured here is my Cadre Fireblade (only painted this evening), but 8 Gun Drones, 12 Fire Warriors and 3 Crisis suits. 
I'm now painting some pathfinders, and I'm liking their new kit.

Some Fire warriors and accompanying drones.
Off to their left you can see some objective markers.
Only 8 more drones, 12-24 fire warriors and 0-18 kroot (I haven't decided yet.), 14 pathfinders, 3 more suits and a commander, a riptide and 3 tanks. 
So far, I'm finding my Tau really easy to paint. As you can see, I've gone with a dark green with red for the recesses. I did the red by mixing a bright red with medium then painting the recesses. after this, I overbrushed dark green onto the model and then painted as normal. On the battlesuit, dark parts are painted black. On fire warriors, cloth is brown. 

I used Yellow as my spot colour, as can be seen on gun drone's barrels and comms links. 

The models

The first Shas'ui is named Shingen. As a rule, I went with a japanese theme for naming characterful units in this Tau Army. Although the Tau are markedly different form japan in that they fight using ranged tactics almost exclusively (Japan does have a proud history of archery, with the Yumi still being used as a ceremonial tool.)

I'd also like to take this time to point out that I Love gun drones in this codex. They're 12 points for something that can take a missile in place of my 5-times-the-price battlesuit. I love watching my opponent's as I take meltagun shots on my drones and then armour saves on my suits. 12 points and free with boxes of fire warriors and battlesuits? I'm there!

So you might have noticed that this guy's arm is straight. I found this surprisingly difficult. For a kit that supports advanced ball-and-socket joints on its models, the shapes of the arms is surprisingly rigid. However, this Tau battlesuit is able to aim his fusion blaster directly and will be blowing up a land raider near you.

I decided to use that support system module as a Target lock. My plan is to run 3 FB battlesuits with TLs with 6 gun drones - the gun drones shoot at infantry and if need be, can select that as a squad to charge while the Fusion Blasters knock out other targets.

This guy is my favourite. I reposed his left leg so that it looks like he's coming down to curb stomp his opponent after shooting. I purposely posed his head facing away from the feet to give him that "I don't give a flying F***" feel about his utter destruction of his target's face.

Is it obvious I like violent video games?

This is my final player. He's a separate squad to the other two, going with 2 other suits and a commander. They all have Plasma guns and 2 gun drones each, as per my plasma nomad squad,

I decided to use both support systems, to show that the ATS is actually two support systems, each networked to a separate weapon. If I was using it on a broadside, I'd probably give a broad side 3 or four of these upgrades!

Here's a side view of his weapon

These are three of my objectives. I've written their values on the top as you can see. the neat thing about this is that they can be turned upside down to distribute the markers fairly. They're made from the shield generator support system available in the Battlesuit box, I'll be making another 3 when I get my next set of battlesuits. 

I also made a relic using the scenic base from my cadre fireblade and the objective thingamabobious available in the stealth team box.

The Fire warriors

First off, let me say that Fire warriors are the best Toughness 3 infantry in the game. Simply nothing compares. They are cheap at 9 points a pop and carry a 4+ armour save, a Strength 5 weapon (also being one of the only non-assaulting armies with an assault weapon available to such line infantry.) In addition to all this, Fire warriors can support each other and other units in the army, through the miracle of supporting fire and markerlighting. 

Again, gun drones are awesome to protect a cadre fireblade or the Shas'ui of the squad.

My Shas'ui isn't actually noted by his lack of a helmet, but by his yellow tau caste markings. I'm not quite sure how I'll differentiate between squads. I think for other squads, I'll paint the lower part of the shoulder shield a different colour.

You'll also notice that I've used minimal highlights, except for faces. I wanted to make my infantry take as little time as possible, so I don't run out of steam while painting.
Since these guys are going to be running with my Cadre Fireblade, I arranged the models to be in such a stance that they could feasibly be volley firing. The end result is quite pleasing.
Here are all 8 gun drones as a squadron. You'll note two have two antennae. These are the commanders or fireblade's drones, if it ever comes up.

Finally there were these baubles. They're my markerlight counters. I've written two M's on each and used the grenade-like thing from the fire warrior sprue as the counter.

I plan to make between 14 and 16, depending on how many pathfinders I end up running.

I hope you liked my Tau as much as I liked painting them. I expect that, budget willing and painting hand wanting, I'll be able to produce this army within six months - Of a 2k army, I've done roughly a fifth, with a quarter just around the corner in the form of 7 path finders...

Next time, I'll be showing my first ever real commission, a pewter Eldrad in a pleasing blue and red form.