Monday, July 15, 2024

The rearmed Sub-Commander Firestorm


For The Greater Good!

Following the debacle of my last game (see previous post), I'm looking for ways to up-gun my Tau. This is however hampered by the fact that our house in Tennessee hasn't sold yet leaving us with two homes to pay for, meaning no new toys can be bought. 

I paint grime so well, that you can't tell that the missile pods and sensor aren't original equipment.

First up, was to rearm Sub-Commandeer Firestorm as mentioned previously. Gone are the flamer and much maligned airbursting fragmentation launcher. Now she's armed with a pair of missile pods, while retaining the weapon support system & shield generator. Whilst not the most potent weapons that she could wield, they are the longest ranged turning her into a light fire support unit. 

The recon drone's flight stand was primed, so I flocked the base and hid the post in some foliage.

While not hers specifically, I also painted up a pair of shield drones. These will be added to my drone pool to be passed out to whomever. They're basically free floating ablative wounds. 

 I believe the decal translates to: BRRRRT!

I also assembled and painted up the pathfinders' Recon drone. This would not have helped at all in my prior game as it would have died right along with the shas'ui on turn one like most of the rest of the pathfinders (unless the shas'ui had had a shield drone...). Regardless, it is a cool mini and I'm not sure as to why I never assembled it before. 

Next up, I guess I need to build the Broadside that's been in the shrink-wrap for the past year or two...

Monday, July 8, 2024

Tau vs. Demiurg battle report

When shipments of ores from the Appalachian Subsector came to an inexplicable halt, Water and Merchant caste delegates were dispatched via the next available transport to ascertain the problem. When those envoys also failed to return, the Tau sent a Merchant class cruiser instead, with yet more Merchant and Water caste envoys, as well as Sub-commander Firestorm and her 2nd line cadre along to renegotiate with some fire power if necessary.

Upon locating the wayward Demiurg, the Tau envoys retransmitted the signed and oath-bound contracts to their wayward contractors from orbit. The responding transmissions were garbled, but it sounded as though the Demiurg claimed to not be who the Tau thought they were, claiming instead to be the Wu-Tang or some such nonsense. At a loss, the envoys dispatched Commander Firestorm and her warriors to seek 'clarification' via excessive firepower, to ensure that the Demiurg would once again make good on their ore shipments... 

750 point game, 6 objectives, worth 1 VP per objective controlled, no we didn't bother with the scenario cards and their paragraphs of often confusing text and apparent need to over-complicate the game by passing out  VPs by the bucket load (seriously GW, WTF?).

750 point of Tau = 64 models (plus a few drones)

Rob's Demiurg.

The battlefield. The star wars terrain's rounded edges works well for the Tau I think.

I was taken by surprise by the reality that we've been playing infiltrators wrong in that they don't have to wait till last to deploy which caused me immediate issues as it put his Yeagers in charge range on turn 1! (Rob went first by the way.)

His Thunderkyn on the other side of the board all but erased the pathfinders in one volley, leaving just a lone rail rifle gunner! The railgunner would kill one in return for what little that was worth. 

The Breachers were reduced by half by the Bike squad with a few Hogzilliaries going down as well. The Hogs would soon fall to the Yeager charge giving Rob 3 additional CPs which isn't a whole lot of fun when on turn one you just used the lone CP you had for overwatch. I've never been a fan of the CP farming game mechanic either (although, that was much worse in 9th).

Ignore the Muppet Auxiliaries which didn't take part in this debacle. After doing so, everything else in that tray died on turn 1, before I even got to go! 64 models doesn't mean shit when you lose 40% of your force before you even get to make a shot. Yes I was (am) salty. 

The game was already lost in the stereotypical of 40K 'blown off of the table on turn 1 scenario', as I effectively had about 500 points left to fight off 750 which was already in a better tactical position that controlled multiple objectives. I killed a handful of his models but nothing like the losses I had suffered. Nonetheless, I pressed on...

The cornered Breachers getting ready for a forlorn suicide charge. Ya know the Tau's buddy system for bonus' doesn't work when the nearby units are wiped out. 

Luckily, I took the Mont'ka, allowing all weapons to assault for the first three turns as well as lethal hits (which i forgot about 2-3 volleys in...). Of course GW took all the AP off of my basic guns (thanks for that). The battle shocked Pathfinder was squandering my still single CP to miss with the rail rifle though could at least still guide the other two squads. Luckily Strike teams Suppressive fire rule negates the Judgement token bonuses somewhat. 

Turn two and the Kroot arrived to run up and hose down the T:5 army with S:4 shooting for no effect. The do at least have sticky objectives or, as it shall forever now be known: They leave their bird poop on them and then leave, (we even used a white die to represent this).

The Piranha dropped in and along with being guided by the pathfinder (as well as the carbine squad) and using a strategem to give their carbines -1 AP, the Thunderkyn withered in the crossfire! Following that the Carbine squad charged the nearest unit of stunties. 

This highly unethical (to the Tau) scrum would occupy these two units for the rest of the game, with occasional models expiring, though both units would ultimately survive... 

Had they not charged, they would have found themselves surrounded by, and in the crossfire of 4 enemy units. Unethical or not, it was a highly prudent move. They probably also realized at this close  range that...'Hey, these aliens don't look like Demiurg! I mean, where are the Klingon foreheads?'

The Wu-Tang turned to hose down their new foe...

 Well the pioneers did. They Kroot fellback out of pistol and charge range of the Yaegers. Note the bird poop on the objective remains.

Kroot shooting managed to kill two pioneers who they then charged thru a hail of overwatch fire, followed by bikes heroically intervening. 

Up until this point, Commander Firestorm had only been successfully guiding her subordinates, and absorbing damage. Her weapons have been nerfed into oblivion by GW, meaning instead of the 9th ed beatstick that she used to be, she didn't kill anything in this game! Here she mistakenly strays into grenade launcher range of the Hearthguard and perishes. She only failed 2 out of 9 saves, but unfortunately she only had 2 wounds left.

The Cadre Fireblade assumed command and while his reduced squad continued to blaze away, he tried to confirm reports from the carbine team that their foes are not Demiurg...

Nope, definitely not Demiurg (told you this fight would never end).

It took I don't know how many editions, but my Kroot finally finished of an enemy unit in close combat! Well, the Shaper did, and as you can see by his two wounds tokens though, he didn't last long to savor this momentous milestone!

At this point, I was down to a handful of models who were vastly outnumbered, and VPs were 7-2 in Rob's favor (the pioneers even mopped up the bird shit), and the Tau initiated a hasty EVAC.

Upon learning for the beleaguered Cadre survivors that they had in fact attacked the Wu-Tang instead of the wayward Demiurg, the Tau's envoys transmitted a letter of apology along with a coupon book good for a few free meal deliveries from their local Earth-Caste Grubhub (Oh, and this is the 'Greater Good' by the way, where all the meals are free...). Then they broke orbit and hurriedly left the system.


Well that was...awful, or at least turn 1 was. The rest of the game wasn't so bad even in spite the futility of it all. That said, I do have a few after action caveats: 

First up Rob has played this army extensively, and wading thru every level of Screech induced Cheesy Necron hell along the way. So he knows every trick in the Votann's book. Me on the other hand, this is my Tau's first outing in 10th ed., and a lot of the good things that my atypical army had in 9th ed. are no longer there (simpler not simple, right?). 

Yes. That glowy green kind of Necron hell...

Two notable examples are that all of my pulse weapons lost their -1 AP &  marker lights are ignores cover only. Sure there's no roll to hit and the Observer/guided/spotted mechanic is supposed to replace that, but it will take some practice to figure out how to use best. 

Ah, the good ol days. 

Then of course Commander Firestorm's experimental airbursting fragmentation projector which in 9th ed was S:4, AP-1, hit on 2's and you could have (2) of them. Now the (obsolete) airbursting fragmentation projector hits on a 3 (4 if firing indirect), is S:3, no AP and you can only have one of them. She also had the experimental thermalneutronic projector which was a sort of weird roll-to-hit flamer that doubled as a close combat weapon that rivaled Commander Farsight's dawn blade. Now, its just a flamer. 

Honestly, in 9th ed Firestorm propped up the army, charging anything that got into my lines, and while rarely winning said fights, she would tie enemy units up for several turns, inflicting heavy losses along the way. She can't do that anymore. 

For example, after charging and killing 4 plague marines, they fell back and in a desperate attempt to shoot her to death!

Firestorm is an obsolete Legends model (which is fine for a 2nd line army like mine), but her weapons need to be completely swapped out (stay tuned for my next post). For this game, I had already removed one projector leaving her with the other one, and a flamer. So equipped she's really only good at killing units like Grots, (ironically) Kroot, guardsmen, and other types of cannon fodder. Hardly a fitting role for a Commander of any stripe. 

I guess it will be back to the drawing board for my Tau in order to find a way forward. It was however good to see Rob & (briefly) Neverness. Especially as I'm not sure when I'll be back up in Tennessee for a game with either one of them. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

An Imperial Scout Disk Trooper


No one questioned his willingness to take all of those solitary, perimeter foot patrols on the forest moon of Endor...

This post with be a short but fun one! A few months ago, while still living in Tennessee, I picked up a squad of Imperial Scout troopers for Star Wars Legion. Not ones riding on speeder bikes, but rather those of the foot slogging patrol type. From this set, I've only painted one mini thus far, the Saboteur-turned-Disc Golfer. 

He's knocked more than one Ewok off of it's tree top catwalk with a well thrown disc!

My uncle is an avid disc golfer, and that is exactly what this guy looked like to me. So I smoothed off the top of his bomb to look like a frisbee, and painted it as such. Of particular note is the trooper's bag which matches my uncle's disc bag in color almost exactly. As you can see from his photo below, he's really quite pleased with it. All the more so when I said 'yes of course you can keep it!'

Of course with a basket of that size, how could he miss?

Monday, June 24, 2024

Kroot Trail Shaper, Carnivore Long Quill & a Grunt


The Kroot have landed in the Low Country.

Following the most recent balance update that was released the other day, I thought I'd give my Tau a look and see how far my army's point total dropped down to this time. Once again the Strike Teams have dropped 5 points apiece, as has my still unbuilt Broadside. 

These changes, along with Commander Firestorm being retired to the display case after she both went to a 'Legends' model (not normally an issue, but...) and more importantly, had her weapons fit nerfed into oblivion, my army now clocks in at a mere 750 points. I might be able to stretch it to 1K if I build the Broadside, add back in the Ja'loo Muppet auxiliaries and the also nerfed all to hell Remora stealth drones. 

The Kroot 'Trail Shaper' Which is basically the standard issue Shaper that the Kroot have always had.

Not that his/her/it's stats reflect this, but this model actually wears some vague modicum or armor.

Note the Ork hide cloak. Given it's size, he must've a big one!

That said, at 750points, my army still clocks in at 60+ models (depending on how many support drones I decide to tack on for free). All are painted except the Pathfinders which have been at least been primed and started. The other unpainted unit is my Kroot Shaper & Carnivore pack. As such, I have decided to remedy that (if not in its entirety, then at least partially).

To differentiate the Long Quill (Sgt.) model, I put him/her/it on a 32mm base.

Always be sure to pack a lunch!

While about half of my Kroot Carnivores (and the Shaper) have pistols. The Long Quill is the only one authorized to actually use one because...reasons. 

I've always liked the Kroot models and backstory. That said, they've rarely seen paint as over the various editions, since the Kroot's rules and stats have gone thru varying levels of suck.  I've yet to use the Kroot in 10th, and in all honesty I'm not expecting much out them. They are however the only Tau unit with the 'sticky objectives' ability, making them essential. 

Just another grunt.

Sing it: I want my baby back, baby back, baby back ribs...

Curiously, the Kroot now have CCWs, rather than give the Kroot Rifle a melee stat as in past editions. 

The plan is to finish painting my Kroot Carnivore squad, and once I do then buy some new Kroot models to bring my army back up to 1K. Maybe the new Long Spear, and a Krootox or two. That'll take awhile but let's face it, with today's projected high temperature of 107 degrees Fahrenheit (and its not even August), there's little reason to not stay inside and paint whenever I have some spare time.  

All of my painted Kroot as of this point.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

My first finished models since the move!



I can't say that they're the first minis to be totally painted here in South Carolina, because I started them (and another half dozen of their Coftyran counterparts) while packing up in Tennessee. That said I did take some time off from unpacking (my new game room is a shambles currently) to finish these little guys up. 

All of the newly finished Crusaders from the front...

...and advancing to the rear. 

These are Quar Crusaders, and while I didn't like their old metal minis, I do like the new plastic sculpts quite a bit more than the Coftyrans, whom I preferred when buying the older metal minis. I think the new plastic Coftyran rhyfles are too spindly and likely to break. 

Another view of the squad's Yawdryl (Sergeant). As the Quar age, they get age spots on their snouts.

I have 2 days off coming up and while a good bit of that will be spent unpacking, I'm hoping to visit some of the local game shops in person to see who & what is out there around here. Also, this coming weekend we're going to a little get together at my wife's boss' house with several of her coworkers and their spouses/significant others. 

This little dude tossing the soup can grenade is the squad's only conversion.

I spliced two rhyfles (sans arms) together to stick on his pack. Its become a bit of a joke amongst the Quar's little community that any Quar tossing a grenade has lost his rhyfle.

One of her coworkers also recently moved here, and her spouse like me is also remote working. Also like me he plays mini games, and Warhammer primarily! I'm assuming that's of the 40K variety, but regardless I looking forward to this engagement more than I originally thought I would be! 

My Crusaders thus far, there are just three left to go.

That said, we went to another new friend's birthday party the other night and while no other gamers were present, the party was a hoot!