Thursday, 26 January 2017

The Obsidian Enclave - Tau plans for 2017

Greetings all! Time for my final army plans post - this time we're going to look at the most recent of my 'finished' 40k armies, the Tau of the Obsidian Enclave.

This one is a post of particular poignance for me I think, because this is the second time I've collected (or at least started collecting) a Tau army and I put a lot of thought and effort into making the collection as 'friendly' as possible. The Tau certainly have a reputation for being able to put together some very dirty lists, and I wanted to avoid that.

I was successful, in some ways, much too successful, as I took the Tau to Fluffageddon in September last year and lost every single game, coming dead last in the event (at least I got some dice to show for it!)

At that point I decided that actually I had hampered myself far too much in my efforts, and seriously contemplated selling the army. I didn't really want to do that though, and settled instead on a revamp. I would get hold of the Farsight enclave formations from Mont'ka and look (in the medium term) at adding much to the collection to make it more viable in more competitive games (my results with the Tau are noticeably worse in percentage win rate terms than with my space marines or my old Dark Eldar for example).

Alongside that, I was also fairly unhappy with the quality of the paint scheme I'd done on them. From a distance, and in photographs of in-game action etc the army looks very striking and I've been complemented on them from several different quarters, but it's such a quick and simple scheme that it brushes over much of the detail of the model - panel lines are barely highlighted, cloth areas are just basecoated and washed, instrument panels and anything metallic were simply basecoated and washed as well, the only highlighting being to the accent lines on the armour.

I wanted to change that, I want to be able to look at the army and know it's a paint job I'm proud of!

So, everything I have is getting a repaint. I'm going to be realistic though, there's no way I'm going to be able to repaint the whole thing this year with all the other commitments I've got, so instead I've decided to focus on six key units.

Given that my intention is to play from the Farsight Enclaves book much more (ok, Mont'ka but you know what I mean) those six units will enable me to play a key core formation from that book.

Tau Commander - the most important repaint, this guy will be getting all the lavish attention you'd expect for and army general, and I'm going to take the magnets out of his jet pack too (why did I ever do that?).

Crisis suit unit 1 - these are painted in the old scheme, but are magnetised to allow them to bring any weapon system they want.

Ghost Keel - my absolute favourite unit in the Tau army at present, so it's a priority despite not being in the formation.

Broadside - I only have one, and he's got the heavy rail rifle not the missiles, but I'm ok with that, he may be less effective in the game but I could always come up with a snazzy conversion.

Crisis suit unit 2 - they are built, but need attention as they were done quickly for a game, so still have bits of sprue to remove etc. This unit will give me six crisis suits, so a nice set of 3 units of 2 in the formation.

Riptide - the big guy, with the big gun. Generally I don't find him that effective, but now that I know what an earth caste pilot array does I hope that will change!

I wouldn't anticipate seeing too much progress with the Tau in the first half of the year, but I have a test scheme I've painted and am really happy with that will allow me to add more subtle detail to more significant models without affecting the overall look, and it's an interesting departure from form for me too, as it's not such a bold, bright scheme!

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