Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Heretical Thoughts: The Legend of the Purple Tau

Once again, the Tau of the Vior'La sept have proven themselves combat masters at the art of hand to hand. Over the past year since I have been running my Tau, they have defeated the following in close combat - mostly with drones:

Necron Lord

Space Marine Commander

Terminator Squad

Harald Deathwolf

The body count for these vicious hand to hand combatants continues to increase and our drones are especially adept at hand to hand combat. But why are they as good in hand to hand as this and of course, the most obvious question I hear - "Why are my Tau Purple?". Well read on and find out.
Tau are not normally hand to hand beasts, but lets take a look at the most common hand to hand combatants that I use - Gun Drones. Without going into actual stats, realize the drones have the same initiative as a Marine so we are attacking at the same time or better than most armies. Our strength and toughness is the same as a guard and the weapon skill is poor, but I have not hesitated to charge others with them. Also, I do not gang up a lot of drones. At best, I have 8 drones total onthe board so why have they been effective? It all has to do with timing. Prior to assaults, it never hurts to soak units with a lot of shooting to whittle them down. They will lose to a full guard mob or full terminator squad. However, when enough shooting has been applied, it is possible to drop individual models in hand to hand - of course dice rolling helps. I have been successful in lining up drone charges after about 2/3 of a unit in shooting. All of the models above, except Harald have been dropped by the drones as they were individual models. If they would have had squads attached, I would have lost. Its always about timing and when to charge and when not to charge, when to shoot and when not to shoot. Future articles will get into phase break down, but suffice it to say, my drones have become a terror for people and a running joke that people do not take for granted and are now being targeted instead of ignored.
Now, why are my Tau purple? Well, when I originally envisioned my Tau I was looking for them to be fighting on an alien jungle world where many of the plants have a purplish hue with the ground being similar. Therefore, the camo scheme would be in different shades of purple. However, the main reason is that my wife likes the color purple and that is easily the best way to start another army. If your significant other is asking about how much money you spend on your hobby, all you need to do is say "I was thinking about you and started to paint this army in your favorite color" Works every time, well for the 1 time I have tried it, it worked. I don't know that the Nurgle color would have went over as well.
"Know this! What comes to pass is no longer war! It is endless sacrifice in His name. Blood for the Blood God . . . Let the Universe Drown in it!" - Crull, Warlord of the World Eaters

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Heretical Thoughts: Tournament Etiquette, Part Three

So , our group finally had a chance to play in a tournament rather than run a tournament at Legions Games in Pittsburgh. Great tournament, that was eventually won by our own Harry the Deathwolf. Congratulations to him and soundly beating me in the last game. During the tournament yesterday, there were many things that I wanted to bring up and discuss as they really pertain to what we have been discussing.

1. It is ok to start with models off the table. After looking at your opponents list, try and determine what he is going to do prior to deploying. This is especially important if your opponent is going first and actually deploys on the table. Don't think about how you are going to deploy, watch how he deploys and try to determine what he is going to do then react with your deployment. If it means leaving models off the table to counter a later threat do it.

2. Though you may be losing, do not give up. There were a few instances of this yesterday where people called it on turn 4 and depending on how the scoring is going, it can cost points to the person you are playing by allowing them to not obtain all the bonus points which can be critical for actually winning events. I have seen enough draws and / or changes from massacres to major or even minor victories by a few different dice rolls.

3. When your opponent does not deploy anything on the table because of your list, don't think your list is what's keeping him off the table and think that you have already won the game. There are tactics involved with keeping models off the table and even many armies that work better by doing so.

4. Pay attention to the meta at the store you are going to play at. If it is a store you regularly play at, then keep in mind what most people play and build an all comers list. There will always be an army that you did not expect and sometimes pairings can influence the final standings because it ends up being the one army that you couldn't beat.

5. When playing your games, make sure you don't make a mistake. It is one thing to lose because of matchups and dice rolling, but to tactically make a mistake is a different thing entirely. I'm not talking about not realizing what a unit does in the opponents army, but more along the lines of forgetting to move something, shoot something, assault something or even shot selection. You must continue to focus while playing and keep in mind how to win the mission - not how to necessarily kill the opponent. Unless it is a victory point or kill point mission, all other missions involve doing something other than killing the opponent to actually win. Keep that in mind.

Overall, all of these items came up at some point in time yesterday as we played. Everyone seemed to have a great time and a big thanks to the Judge and the store for having the event and allowing us to play. The spread of armies was great as I do not believe out of the 29 people that played there were more than 3 of the same armies in the tournament. We hope to see everyone there for our next tournament on March 26th.

Death to the False Emperor


Monday, February 7, 2011

Board updates - Its cold outside

Work on the board has slowed down a bit due to the freezing weather. However the lighting is nearly complete, water effects doesn't like to dry when its really cold so here it is. just some finishing touches and on to the next one.