Something fishy this way cometh

Well, some changes in the last months. And yes, you shall almost always find dismaying puns or references in the titles …

Firstly, the Brace For Impact event did occur, and it was glorious. The staff didn’t have much hair left, but the concept of a scripted campaign gives a very nice atmosphere and even if some scenarios were more inbalanced than anticipated, the fact that everyone wrote the story of the Piraleus sector gives even a defeat enjoyable. Among the hoard of immersive ideas from the staff :

  • Classical but efficient : some games did influence the next round depending on the result (change of scenario, of size …)
  • One briefing card for every game. Every faction recieved them and the players of that faction did choose its next game based on these fluff intel reports. Of course, sometimes the real scenario of the game is an ambush while you travel to obey your briefing … Of course, you don’t necessary know your enemy at this point :).
  • To avoid the meatgrinder playstyle : every ship lost has a penalty on its Leadership the next round (-1 on ships, battleships dropped to 6). Some scenarios, if won, did give a token to cancel the penalty for ONE ship.
  • A dynamic map, updated every round, to visualize where everyone was fighting. I’m rather proud of the miniships token I did for this event, but the map itself is absolutely gorgeous (Well done Pix !).
  • A complete fluff book about the sector, 33 pages long as an introduction for the week end.

The plot was about a Tyranid invasion in an imperial sector, with Tau evacuation fleet that flees before the beast and ends up in a cat and mouse chase with the local defenders and Eldars that just do their stuff with ancient Webway issues in the sector.

Secondly, as one player finally could’nt come, we were short of one Tau fleet. As everything was scripted for two Tau fleets, and to avoid to change everything 2 weeks before the BFI, I ended playing Tau with my custom models (Korvattra for the win !). I had to rush an explorer model in 15 hours to be able to send it to print in order to recieve it 2 days before the tournament. All in all I made a pretty simple list, based on what I had at hand and what I could print. I only had one hero and merchant, so I planned to use for each one of my models and one of GW. I can confirm that these are a pain to glue. But, and because every plan has to fumble at some point, the nice metal Merchant encounter a feline warp-beast during the night, and the prow was lost with all hands. The rumour is that it reappeared two weeks later, vomited by the Warp in the form of a vacuum cleaner. The Inquisition is investigating. So, at the last moment I briefly painted an emissary to replace it. Here is the list :

  • Kor’O (Ld9) + 1 re-roll
  • Phasing Smith – Explorer battleship – Bor’Kan variant
  • Voice of the Eclipse – Explorer battleship – Vash’Ya variant
  • Silent Whisper– Hero cruiser – Vash’Ya variant
  • Tau’va Toridas – Hero cruiser -Tolku variant
  • Decent Communion – Merchant cruiser – Dal’Yth variant
  • Stargazer – Emissary cruiser – Sa’Cea variant
  • 2 x 3 Orcas
  • 2 Defender
  • 2 x 1 Messenger

I was rather surprised at the efficiency of the fleet. On the paper, I didn’t anticipate the very agressive playstyle so much ordnance can give. The Messenger is a pearl, allowing several locked broadsides at the beginning of the game. I don’t know if I accidentaly stumbled upon a very competitive list or if I was just lucky, but things went rather smoothly. I’ll make a post with some detail on the 4 games themselves, because there was some nice moments 🙂 (Finishing an Emperor battleship with a double front ramming by Heroes : check ! Survive it : check !). Our narrative arc was that we (the Tau) were fleeing a neighbouring sector where we were peacefully dealing with a local xeno race. The tyranids did come, and we fled, bringing along a colony ship of these xenos (for their greater good of course) and just had to cross the over-militarized imperial Piraleus sector. Guns on the front, teeth on the rear …

All in all it was a very nice weekend, very smoothly operated and full of nice players and games. In the end the Piraleus sector did survive, despite having lost 2 sub-sectors to the Great Devourer. The Tau did stumbled on the last step of their exodus (only be lack of time :().

Secondly, I finally managed to make some decent pictures of my Tau models :

First : The Explorer. I wanted it more bulkier, since it’s a cargo/exploration vessel in the beginning, before being retrofitted for combat duties. It’s still WIP, being absurdtely undetailled on the bottom side, but it’s a 15 hours work to print it for the BFI tournament. I’ll keep it that way, just detailling some dorsal parts and allowing a proper keel. The prows and the engine section shouldn’t change.

Explorer - Missile variant

Explorer – Missile variant

Explorer - Carrier variant

Explorer – Carrier variant

Explorer aft. I wanted to change the layout of it.

Explorer aft. I wanted to change the layout of it.

Next : The Hero. The major change in the design was to alter the engines section. I understand why the engines on the original model look so puny (the Tau having difficulties matching other races miniaturization in space), but I wanted something else. As a huge fan of the design of the Star Wars Corellian Corvette (what an iconic ship), I mainly transposed it. The bulkier design fits for me for a race having troubling with space propulsion.

We can be heroes !

We can be heroes !

Hero - details of the CEC aft

Hero – details of the CEC aft

The Merchant. Not much to say here, some detailling work, mainly concerning the engine section.

Yes, this is the tau vision of a "retrofitted transport". It looks more impressive that it is.

Yes, this is the tau vision of a “retrofitted transport”. It looks more impressive that it is.

All the modules (launch decks, armaments, cargo or hook) are detachable and standardized. I have to take the plunge and test the magnetizing of the modules (I made a pre-hole on them and the hull to allow it. I only have to find a suitable magnet size able to hold them correctly). With this any configuration can be done, and I think, if it’s implemented properly, that it’ll allow to play with the variants class with a common hull.

Now, the escorts :

Orca : Just some proportions revisions, the “wings” on the prow of all the Tau escorts were always a bit larger to my taste so first revision here. It’s design to fit on the hooks module and the aft dorsal section of the explorer (just detach if from the base and plug it on). I shall add some picture of this.

Orca, reloaded

Orca, reloaded

Orca aft. A bit smotther than the original

Orca aft. A bit smotther than the original

Defender : This one was depicted as large, and the original miniature was indeed larger. Same reasonning as with the Hero here : bulkier engines, looking like the explorer revamp.

Defender prow

Defender prow

Defender - engines

Defender – engines

Messenger : A major change here, because it’s more a mobile comm station than a real ship. So it’s blistering with antennas and domes for intel equipment. And I personnally had a challenge the first time I had to see which was the Defender and which the Messenger with the original miniatures.

Messenger - hedgehog ptn

Messenger – hedgehog ptn

Messenger - engines

Messenger – engines

Finally, a picture of the ordnances token, painting courtesy of Kurgan (so it’s nicely painted). I chose to retain the Tigersharks as bombers … well just because I like their look :).

United colours of Tau'va, as Kurgan says

United colours of Tau’va, as Kurgan says

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