Thursday, 5 November 2015

Hobby update

Hi all, this post is kind of going to be a bit of a generic update on all things going on for me hobby-wise at the moment, starting with painting related stuff, then updating on games, tau list revisions and future plans.

Ok so my first admission must be that I failed to complete the dreadtober challenge.
This was the state of the mighty fella just before Halloween and though I got a little more done subsequently he still remains unfinished. Had I not needed to complete my tau for our tale of 4 gamers then I'd most certainly have finished him, but for now he'll just have to go on the 'to do' pile.

On to better news though, I did get shadowsun finished in time, and as you may have noticed in my latest battle report, she even managed to survive till the end of a game, bringing all sorts of carnage down on the enemy as well!

I'm particularly pleased with the enclave runes on her helmet, though that does of course mean I'm going to have to add them to all my other models too!

Finally in the painting updates, having put aside the normal dread, I started work on the Sternguard, and also began repairing the damage done to my ironclad by injudicious use of GW varnish - you can see the impact of it by comparing the two arms, one of which is gehennas gold, the other gehennas gold with the varnish applied.

The Sternguard are coming along nicely, though with so many details on the models there's still lots of work to be done. Oh yeah, and I hate painting brown...

In gaming news I've posted up reports from my last two games with the tau under the old codex, onwards and 'hopefully' upwards to round 3 of the tale, when I'll get to use formations! 

Which leads me quite smoothly on to where I'm going with the tau list for the next points level. Well, we're running the next round at 1000pts and as you can see from an earlier post, I was having some difficulty in deciding what list to use.

No longer! I've settled on my list, provided I can fund it with birthday money! So here we are, I'll run through the principles behind it too so you can agree or disagree with me!

Hunter Contingent

This means that not only do I get a re-roll for my warlord trait, but I get to use the lovely combined fire rule too when I gang up on things (gives +1BS if at least 3 units shoot at the target, and lets those units sombine for shooting purposes, to share special rules, markerlights etc).

Core - Hunter Cadre

The Hunter Cadre rules let me run and then shoot with units within 12" of the commander at the start of the shooting phase, and extends the supporting fire rule to units within 12" of those being charged (supporting fire lets other units that aren't being charged fire overwatch)

HQ - Commander
Iridium Battlesuit (2+ save, and T5)
2 plasma rifles
Neuroweb system jammer (makes 1 unit within 12" weapons have the gets hot rule)
Velocity tracker (choose to have skyfire)

Elite - Ghostkeel
Fusion collider (18" melta blast)
Twin linked fusion blaster (18" melta)
Early warning override (Interceptor)
Velocity tracker (choose to have skyfire)

Fast attack - Pathfinders (x4)
Pulse carbines

Heavy support - Hammerhead
Ion cannon

9 man breacher team in devilfish
2x 7 man strike team with pulse carbines in devilfish

Auxiliary - Drone network
4 marker drones


Right, so having looked at the retribution cadre longingly, I decided against it for two reasons.
1. It was very expensive and I'm likely not to be able to afford to buy everything off that list right now.
2. It's an exceedingly low model count list for this points level, thus requiring consistency in my dice, which has never been a strong point, and inevitably any losses would be keenly felt.

Similarly, the other list choice I considered used the stealth cadre formation, which was extremely tempting, especially as one of the other lists in the tale is using iron hands so hitting those tanks on the rear would be massively helpful. I didn't want to be that guy that tailors a list though, so that wasn't going to be a consideration. In fact, the main reasons for discarding that option were because all three of the armies against me have lots of ignores cover options (heavy flamers, thunderfires, baleflamers) all of which have caused my stealth suits lots of problems in the round 2 games so I was keen to try something a bit different.

The minimum requirements for the hunter cadre formation left me somewhat restricted, as I really wanted to make use of the devilfish mechanised theme that has characterised my lists so far. This means buying and painting another for a breacher team, but never mind (I've got a decent idea I think for personalising the devilfish in time). That would give me a solid base of two fire warrior teams and a breacher team, all with transports to retain mobility for maelstrom games.

For elites, I'd originally included a crisis team, but I figured that actually the resilience of the ghostkeel along with its ability to take down tanks and generally mess up my opponent's strategy was more worthwhile. I would love to add crisis suits to the army, but just not yet. Given I'm expecting to face at least two lists with flyers in, and because I like to cover as many bases as possible, I figured giving the ghostkeel a velocity tracker and early warning override would provide me with a nice defensive threat to airborne units and give me a certain amount of board control.

Fast attack was a no-brainer. The pathfinders are almost the cheapest option and after not having any real markerlight support in my first two rounds I wanted the assistance this time (ironic that with the detachment benefits I'd probably need them less). A minimum size unit would keep costs down to fit in the points sink I've got in the troops section, but at 1000pts you have to make sacrifices! Heavy support was an interesting puzzle for me, because I really like sniper drones and broadsides. The drones I ruled out due to having plenty of similar AI fire in the troops section, and the broadsides are just too expensive to fit into this sized list. I was therefore left with the choice of gun on the hammerhead, but as all I'm facing is power armoured enemies, I figured the option for the large blast AP3 template was more useful to me than the AP4 option provided by the railgun, even though it meant more limited AT options. I'll be magnetising the gun anyway so I can use the railgun later if I want.

So that meant I had a commander to kit out, but before that I picked up the drone network option for an auxiliary choice in the detachment as it's mandatory, but for 56 points, 4 marker drones could come in pretty handy.

With the points left therefore I had to figure out what I could afford for the commander. Iridium armour was my first go-to choice - giving him a 2+ save and T5 meant there was very little that he would need to avoid in the games (although with one vindicator and a maulerfiend turning up in round two there were still ID threats, and could be more). A pair of plasma rifles meant he could take on pretty much any non-vehicle model and quite a few vehicles too. Finally with the spare points I gave him a velocity tracker to boost my anti air fire, and added the system jammer simply so that he had the potential to be a real pain to any infantry type units that wanted to lay down supporting fire.

I think that list covers everything, it's got anti vehicle and anti flyer options, the ghostkeel and commander are both also perfectly capable of putting down stuff with a 2+ save. The breachers and hammerhead give me lots of potential for taking out power armoured infantry and the remaining strike teams can bring a real weight of fire when they need to. The pathfinders and drones are icing on the cake really, but a couple of markerlight hits in the early turns of a game could make all the difference. I'm just not expecting them to last very long.

Just a note on the detachment benefits, the granting of +1 BS to my shooting if 3 or more units combine their fire at a single target means that my strike and breacher teams become much more independent. the devilfish and drones each count as a separate unit so each devilfish is a self contained BS bonus, and as we all know, the difference between BS3 and BS4 can be huge, and just a single markerlight then makes all three units BS5 (BS4 TL for the drones).

So, I've probably just given away all my secrets to my opponents in the tale if they read my blog, but what the hell, I'm not afraid.

As a final part to today's post, I've got a game coming up on Sunday against Ryan in preparation for an upcoming tournament he's taking part in, so the Iron Fists are making a relatively rare appearance in my games once more (I've actually not used the new marine dex in anger yet!). I've got what I think is a fairly nasty list up my sleeve, even if I haven't got all the models to go full cheese yet. It's similar to my previous list but with a few tweaks and includes one of the new formations and a second of my favourite units - the Storm Talon.