Tau Tanks Terrorize Town

Warhammer 40,000 – Tau are by far my least favorite army to paint or play against. I love reading about them and the role they play in the game, especially in the campaign supplements from late seventh edition. They’re more alien feeling than the Eldar and have a really cohesive look and feel. My issue is that cohesive look and feel means painting any model in the range feels very much like painting every other model in the range, particularly with this scheme.

This time around my client decided to add a Spearhead Detachment to his existing force. There are quite a few things I love about 8th edition 40K and the detachment style of building army list ranks at the top. If you work out points costs for your detachments that can fit into a larger army build it becomes very easy to mix and match completely changing how the force functions by swapping in a Spearhead instead of a Vanguard for example.

The paint is pretty standard Vior’la Tau, you can read more about the scheme in these posts.

Tau Commanders


Warhammer 40,000 - I’ve run out of Tau puns it seems, sometimes I have projects that are complete forces that are provided all at once and it takes a little longer to complete them but when I turn the models back over to my clients they have a complete force. Other times I get things piece meal as my clients ad new parts or are acquiring the force in small chunks. With these I can typically turn the models around fairly quickly based on my work load.

As with the other models for this client I start with a white primer and work my way up from Ulthuan Grey to White Scar with Agrax Earthshade applied to the lines.

Totally Tau - More White Wariors

Totally Tau - More White Wariors

Warhammer 40,000 – With changes to the points costs for several Tau units one of my clients has opted to add some additional firepower to his existing force. I painted the bulk of said force last year which you can read about here. It sounds like he wants to do a mechanized force backed up by various suits. As there is only one vehicle in this batch I expect that there will be many more as the year progresses.

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Off the painting table - Broadside Bash

Warhammer 40,000 - I feel bad for whoever has to be on the receiving end of this missile packed bad boy. Combined with the 14+ Marker Light Drones I just painted for the same client someone is going to be in for a world of hurt.

As with the rest of the force this follows the studio scheme for Tau. I really like how the white looks it's so much more striking than the old tan and brown scheme that used to be on pretty much anything Tau you saw from the studio,

Beware the Riptide

Warhammer 40,000 - I never really got the maritime references on all the Tau units. I've heard they're fish people but it seems odd to me.

The next big addition to the Tau project I've been working on is wrapped up. The stark white, red and gray scheme is really working nice. It's fun doing something outside my normal style.

On the painting table ... Tau-riffic

Warhammer 40,000 - Over the course of my hobby I've painted just about every race in the 40K universe however somehow I managed to avoid painting Tau. The is until now.

The Tau are an army that never really appealed to me. I don't play against them regularly so I have mostly a general overview of what they can do. Which is pretty much wipe units off the board in the shooting and assault phase.

The force I've been painting currently has two crisis suits, six stealth suits, one riptide and fourteen marker light drones. The anime inspired look of this force does look really sharp. I believe I'll have a few more drones and bigger suits that will join this force at a later date.

The paint style on these is a total departure for me. I don't typically like to paint white or sharp clean lines so this was a new experience for me. I was asked to match the paint style that Duncan Rhodes showcased on the Warhammer TV channel. In that he painted a Ghost Keel. The tips in the video were very useful. For white I typically start with a celestial grey and work my way up to white from a gray primer.  Ulthuan Grey over a white base with White Scar edge highlight is pretty clever.

These grays (I know grey/gray gets confusing the joys of writing about a British Company right?) are warmer which works well with the earth shade wash rather than the standard black. By applying the wash only to the recessed areas and corner with the lines of the suit converge these are much cleaner looking that my standard over wash that I do on marines. Which takes a bit longer to do correctly but the end result is really nice.

The majority of the drones are converted from guns drones with a mold of the existing sensor portion of the drones that came with the stealth suits. While not a perfect match I think they get the job done and in a pinch could be called out as gun drones.

I'm looking forward to painting more Tau units in the future and hopefully seeing more success when facing them across the table.

Battle Report: Genstealer Cult vs. Tau and Deathwatch

Warhammer 40,000 – Weeknights i try to keep games to 1500 points a side. it makes it possible to finish a game within the few hours, This week three of us got together to play 1500 points of Genestealer Cult vs 750 points each of Deathwatch/Inquisition and Tau. 

We played the football field deployment, maelstrom mission with the reducing objectives. The city set-up had plenty of blocked lines of site so it wouldn't be a shooting gallery.

I stuck with the same list I've been playing. I don't think it's optimized but it was the most cost effective choice with the two Deathwatch: Overkill boxes I acquired. Each game I get a little better and have an easier time remembering all the special rules and interactions. Repetition is the best way to learn right?

My opponents had a Deathwatch squad in a drop pod, two inquisitors in chimeras with henchmen squads. The Tau had a few suits, fire warriors and pathfinders. No 100% of the complete list breakdown but that should be pretty accurate.

They won the roll to set up and go first, I got some really good rolls on the Cult Ambush chart, including a "6" with my first curse massive formation. Throwing caution to the wind I place them very aggressively and hope to seize the initiative. Sadly that roll doesn't go my way so my super aggressive deployment meant heavy casualties. The few that did survive made it into combat and tore through everything unfortunately leaving them open for another round of shooting.

On the opposite side of the table the Deathwatch very thematically faced off against a horde of Neophytes and Acolytes. The chimeras were the star of the show on that end of the table and I really need to start them on the table every time I play. Outflanking never seems to pay off for me as well as trucking across the board drawing fire.

At the end of the game I had 9 points to their 6, but lost my last model on the top of turn five. It was by far the closest game I've had so far. Part of it was lucky rolls on the Score D3 cards that put me ahead on points. If I could have managed keeping something alive I would have got my first win.

Genestealer Cult is a tricky army to play, on paper it feels like it wants to get up in your face and win in the assault phase. In practice there's only a few units that you really want to get into combat: Genestealers and Mutants are amazing when they can get into an assault. The small units of neophytes and acolytes are better used to grab and hold objectives, I think. In practice when I get aggressive with them, five man units die to easily in the shooting phase. Being able to Return to Shadow and bring back friends should be really good, but I've yet to master the art of using it effectively.