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Tau Online Newsletter

Mini of the Month

Unyuu Fex

Unyuu Fex by Komrad. Check our forums for more information.


Quote of the Month

"Don't forget Apocalypse is GW's new way to get newbs into 40K... "Look at those big tanks! Buy them! BUY THEM! It will be good for us, and okay for you! Only BIG games can make you happy and are fun!"

- CmdrBonesaw on 17-04-2009


Forum Statistics

For the month of May:

New Topics: 1,192
New Posts: 18,082
New Members: 162
Page Views: 1,700,952
Most Visitors Online at Same Time: 321

In Total:

Topics: 71,595
Posts: 1,164,430
Members: 10,203
Most Visitors Online at Same Time: 641


Thanks for Reading

The 47th Monthly Tau Online Newsletter is here!
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Recent News

Competition News

Hello folks, we had a busy month with four contests running. In the Open Tau contest, first and second prize were both taken by Ethereals, with Alabaster's excellent painting taking victory.

In the Superheavy competition, Scizor's phenomenally detailed Trygon devoured the competition.

In our terrain contest, Scoutfox's ramshackle building demonstrated just how Orky poor construction is.

In the objective marker contest, Watchdog's battered Gun Drone won out over some massively gory pieces.

- Dra'Tuisich-Novae

The Imperial Guard Codex From an Old Veteran by Emlyn

Let me start by stating that I haven't always been a xenos-traitor. When I began my Warhammer 40,000 participation, I was an Imperial Guard player. I played Catachans (sort of) to be specific. This was way back in the days of Adeptus Arbites and Griffon Mortars. It was when the Imperial Guard could take Assassins in their codex, when the Ratling sniper models were new, and when Yarrick carried around an oversized set of hair clippers and was really dead.

All of that brings me to the new Imperial Guard codex. I'm encouraged to see the cycle beginning again. Sly Marbo is as good as any assassin. Ratlings have new models. The Griffon is back. The art of Yarrick pictures him with his hair clippers.

In fact, the Imperial Guard codex as a whole is quite an amazing book. The sheer versatility it offers players is overwhelming. There are no fewer than twenty-one vehicles or vehicle variants, eleven special characters and nearly infinite ways to configure your infantry platoons. The removal of doctrines has freed players up so that they can customize their regiments while still maintaining a good balance of the "feel" of the Imperial Guard in the 40k universe.

In spite of all of my groaning and moaning about the cheese in this codex (and it is packed with cheese), canny Imperial Guard players will find themselves able to make lists which are even more themed than their last codex. Let's look at a few highlights:

Company HQ

The Company HQ has shrunk a bit. No more are the sentinel squads or heavy weapons squads. Instead, you get your commander, a few troopers, and maybe some attachments. I'm counting a max squad size of ten. But size doesn't really matter here. In those ten models you can have a five wound commander, improve your reserves, deter enemy reserves, call in ordinance, and still have time to issue orders to your men. The new IG dex has effectively made the Company HQ the heart and soul of your army.

Orders

Unique to Guard, the ability to issue orders to your troops (e.g. "Shoot this target...a lot!") enables you to overcome some of the problems faced by standard Guardsmen. It also makes for a very fun game dynamic as you try to manage the number of orders you can issue in a turn. There's room for powergaming here, of course. But I really like the dynamic in friendly games.

Infantry Platoons

Skipping ahead to the Platoon. This is the backbone of the Imperial Guard. Now it is the backbone of your army too. Platoons "unlock" special weapons squads, heavy weapons squads, etc. They have an insane variety of weapons available to them. This enables you to make almost any force you want to make (less pure Rough Riders). For your harder troops, take Veteran squads. But, unlike the last Guard codex, Infantry Platoons are really essential to your force. And you thought SIGAFH was bad last edition....

Heavy Support

There's way too much to cover here. But let's just say that if your opponent isn't filling all three Heavy slots, he isn't doing it right. :P Honestly, though, the idea of facing off against 9 Russ's is terrifying....in spite of the fact that it will probably never happen. Still, this is the versatility principle. If I can field two Russ's, two Griffons, and still have room left for Hydra, that's pretty decent.

Overview

The Imperial Guard are now the all comers army. That's without pulling any cheese out. They can take power armor, skimmers, and swarms. They can handle assault based armies and can out-shoot pretty much anything out there. Best of all, they can do it while acting exactly how the Imperial Guard should act in the 40k universe: by being versatile and combining arms.


Ode to a Proxy Gamer by Wargamer

There is nothing more joyous than seeing your army take to the tabletop, all nicely painted, and trounce the other guy.

Alas, not everyone has this option. You see, I have a confession; discounting my Ultramarines, the last time I painted a model was when the Black Templar Codex came out. Sure, I might have done the odd model here and there in the meantime, but that was the last time I really set out with the intention of painting my army properly.

That was 2005. Long time to paint sod-all, I think you'll agree.

Frankly, I'm glad I've got my Ultramarines. Yes, they've got purple trims as a nod to my former Chapter, and yes I've already got enough Marines to build a decent army, but I wanted to start afresh. It's healthier, I guess.

Unfortunately, my quest for the new army isn't going well. It started well; my Ultramarines got two swift and brutal victories in short order, but then it went downhill very fast. For several games my Vanguard Veterans refused to show up, and when they did they didn't do much. My army was getting trounced through lack of scoring units, and they can't handle 2+ Saves worth a damn.

Thankfully, all is not lost! Why? Because in truth, my 'Ultramarine' army is actually 5 Sternguard, 10 Scouts, 10 Tactical Marines, a Dreadnought and a converted Sicarius... only half of which are painted. All the rest of the army? proxies. Thank god for Proxies!

You see, the Scouts themselves were included due to a need for scoring units. The Vanguard are dropped due to lousy performance, and I don't need a Drop Pod anymore. There's also a second Dread which may be leaving, and all of these are proxy units. Thanks to proxying, I'm not buying units I don't need, or units that looked good on paper but failed me in practice.

People often look down on proxying, but I say Proxy is Good! Without using proxy, I'd never have been able to playtest this list until after I'd bought it... and given how many changes I'm making, that could easily be £100 spent just to find out I didn't like the army! Fielding a proxy force lets me see how the army handles itself, where it falls short and thus where it needs changing. As each element proves itself, it becomes a fixed part of the list, and then the proxy is replaced by a genuine Ultramarine unit.

Sure, it looks a bit odd when I've got blue Marines, purple Marines, unpainted Marines, a Furioso whose right arm is actually a plasma cannon and an Ordnance Blast Marker that enters play via Deep Strike and deploys the Sternguard, but I'd rather have an odd looking army that cost me nothing extra to a fancy army I don't enjoy playing with.

So, the next time you want to start an army, here's a tip; proxy it. Proxy the force, get a feel for it, then put your hand in your pocket and buy. Build in stages, and plan ahead. I knew from the start that I had to have Sternguard, so I got them first. I knew I'd need at least one Tactical Squad, so I got that too. These are always going to be part of my list, as is a Dreadnought. They are safe bets. The rest is still a bit up in the air (well, aside from the Scouts, obviously), but every battle brings me closer to finding the list I want to buy... and at the rate I'm painting, one game a week is actually a pretty good rate of testing!


Interview with: by Grumpy Kwi

Who are you?

A fair question! I am a 42 year old father in a family of 4 located in San Jose California. I haven’t been playing too long (2004 I think) and other than dabbling with Kroot Mercenaries I have never played another army in 40k. My kids no longer play the game but they were Chaos Marines and Ork players respectively before their new codices came out.

What is your favourite unit in your respective race?

Wow, although I am a Wych Cult player by heart I am extremely fascinated with the more obscure units in the Codex. Right now I am finding myself adding Mandrakes to my lists and although they are extremely hard to use and over-priced they continually surprise me even against the higher toughness power armored armies. I kinda look at them like the Dark Elf Shades – GW fixed them pretty good so I am hoping they get the same treatment.

Is there any advice you can give to those other 'Nid and Dark Eldar players out there?

My advice to any Dark Eldar player right now (with our 3rd edition codex) is the army will test your resolve in both game play and modeling. Don’t wrap your head around the idea of how many marines can this unit kill but rather how can this unit spoil my opponents plans.  Once you learn you can’t out shoot or out assault any army you will be on your way to out maneuvering your opponent just on speed alone. Some say we are a “glass cannon” or “glass hammer” but I think of those tools as too sloppy of an example (perhaps better metaphors for the orks) but rather, more of an operating scalpel – neat, clean incisions here and there are all that you need to win a game.

When you're not being involved in the site or 40k, what do you do in your spare time?

If I can’t make it to a game then I will usually fill in the time playing games online – I am currently playing Battlefield 2142. Yes, my screen name there is “GrumpyKwi”.

What is the one most important piece of information you would give to new players?

Have fun!  Try to incorporate background into your games and if you can try to understand your opponents. Sure, we all want to win but there is nothing sweeter than winning a game when you didn’t take the “power list” and instead faithfully stuck to a theme.

Painter, modeller, player, fluffnut, or all of the above?

Modeller and player mostly. I do paint but no so great and I am sure my fluff world is being realigned as we speak.

What is your favorite color?

Blue, no…Green! Aahhhh!


Interview with: by Nezalhualixtlan

Who are you?

31 year old male lead software developer and database architect for a major hospital in Boston, part time student at night finishing a degree in Computer Science with a minor in Economics.  I'm a little bit scientist, philosopher, and artist, always a skeptic with an open mind, I strive to be rational, logical, loving and creative, and revere that which is natural in this beautiful universe.  I'm an independent libertarian politically, fairly liberal with regards to social policy, and fairly conservative when it comes to fiscal matters.  I'm more Natural Pantheist and Secular Humanist religiously than anything else, I don't believe in anything supernatural, and I figure we'll eventually find actual scientific knowledge about things that we don't quite understand yet.  My favorite band is NIN (and I just scored tickets to the NIN / Jane's Addiction tour here in Boston the other night, I'm very excited), my favorite movies were the Lord of the Rings trilogy, my favorite book is Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, and my favorite TV show is Penn & Teller's Bullshit!

What is your favourite unit in your respective race?

My Hive Tyrant, and specifically my Flyrant.

Is there any advice you can give to those other 'Nid and Dark Eldar players out there?

Try not to make any one unit in your army so much of a threat that your opponent can easily forget the rest of your stuff in an attempt to take down that biggest threat.  If you spread the threat around your army, your opponent will have a tougher time trying to decide what to go for first, and is more likely to make targeting mistakes. 

When you're not being involved in the site or 40k, what do you do in your spare time?

Well, I work full time for a large Hospital in Boston as their lead database architect and software developer for one of their departments during the day, and I’m going to school part time at night trying to finish up a degree in Software Engineering (with an Economics minor I’ve already completed).  So that takes up the vast majority of my time, but I also play World of Warcraft in my spare time, which eats up a good half of my not so frequent leisure time these days – for those that play WoW, I was a Mage main for 4 years, a hardcore raider during classic wow, and have recently switched to the Death Knight in WotLK, though I’m the definition of a “casual” these days.

What is the one most important piece of information you would give to new players?

I think it's really important to pick an army that really suits your tastes in terms of fluff, and model range.  Rules will change in time, and while it's nice to be able to field something impressive that's competitive, there's a lot more to the game than just playing.  If you pick an army that you like the look of, and the fluff behind it, I think you'll get more out of the hobby.

Painter, modeller, player, fluffnut, or all of the above?

Definitely a player above and beyond anything else.  I’m a strategy game nut, and have really taken a liking to the WH40k table top game.  I really do like the hobby modeling and painting aspect, modeling more than painting, and the fluff though, but I like actually playing the game more than anything else.

What is your favorite color?

Blue... no Yellow...   Actually Black is my favorite color, followed closely by dark purple, and then by dark red, which is a large part of the reason the major colors for my Hive Fleet are black and purple.


Quiz: by Zenai

To answer the quiz and be get your name in the next newsletter, please send a personal message to Zenai!

1. In a typical Infantry Squad, how members are there within the squad?

2. Who was the first to have a recorded kill against a Tau Ethereal?

3. Name the 2 known Regimental Commanders of the Catachan II.

4. What was the original name of Lord Solar Macharius’s homeworld?

5. Name the Cadian and Catachan Special Characters that’s available within the 2nd Edition Codex: Imperial Guard.


Guess the Mini/Blackout: by Zenai

We have a guess the mini competition, just take a guess at what the picture could be! Send your answer via personal message to Zenai!