Monday, March 28, 2011

Scrying the future with Heretic

Hi again everyone, hope everything has been going well for you. I've been absent recently because I've been working on a portfolio for my university and a thesis so I can graduate. While these projects have taken a chunk out of my time to paint and play 40k, it has given me time to read far and wide around the internet and I've been contemplating how I'd rather play when I get the opportunity.

When I look at the armies I play I'd like to think there's some theme to them, my Techno Eldar with their DJ war walkers and my marines designed to bring in as much 'fire'-power as possible augmented by Vulcan, but my first consideration was their killing power more than their theme. Don't get me wrong these armies have served me well, I've won and lost my fair share of games with them, but I've played the same lists with these armies for long enough for even my leaky memory to hold them. I like how my armies work, I understand how they work and I've been able to get good mileage out of the eldar codex I think could really use an update, but I think I need to change a little of how I play and a lot of what I do play.

We've all got units we like because they are cool or they used to be great in the last edition of our codex, but just can't deliver like they used to, like they should in fifth edition for their points. Not having the gaming history that a lot of people do, I can't really say there are units that I played before fifth edition changed how the army worked. The closest I can come is the army I started out with and played for a year or two before bringing my eldar up to the 2000 points we play around Muncie.

Here's where I give you some hints to pad out this article before telling you what the army is. While I love what fluff there could be about this army, the best fluff there is isn't in the army's codex but in the tyranids': each side taking casualties and adapting to the other's tactics forcing a re-adaptation. They're the shining hope in the grim darkness of the far future as long as you don't mind being mind controlled ;). They're the most sci-fi of all the races bringing amazing technology to bare to compensate for their (significant) weaknesses: All Hail the Tau!

Yeah, Ishmael is our local Tau player and does well with them so I'll be encroaching on some of his territory, but the Muncie gaming club has been diversifying greatly since when I first came down to the Keep. It used to be that marine vs. marine games were the rule with xenos and guard being exceptions, but now some people play multiple armies and there isn't much overlap between armies. Ishmael and I (along with Meister Kai, Rionnay and others) regularly read Yes the Truth Hurts to get new ideas about how to play 40k competitively. Ishmael runs a list from YTTH quite well and while it's a good list it won't run without Ishmael behind the board moving the models from place to place. While the list won't save you, it can help or hurt you.

After wandering around it for a few screens here's the idea that binds all of this together: I will try to put to death the monobuild. If you're new to the term, a monobuild is when an army is old enough that only one archetype of list will still work for it in a competitive environment. For eldar that's Meister Kai and my armies that bring as much strength six shots to the table as possible. For tau the monobuild is Ishmael's army. I'll admit that his army will have more guns than mine will and is a better list overall, but I contend that it's not the only way to win.

There will be some similarities between our armies, as there are units that are better choices than their competitors for a force organization slot (you've got to feel bad for the skyrays and stealth suits), but there will also be differences. We'll both have three crisis teams but mine will differ between the teams while Ishmael has made the best choice thrice. I will try to bring a list that reflects the 'multicultural' nature of the Tau, but I'm not quite ready to go 100% fluffy bunny yet so there will be some teeth to the Tau. As much as I love my dark green color scheme, I may have to strip some of my fire warriors down to get the models for my new list and scheme. I'll try to post up models as I get them converted and painted and I hope you enjoy.


  1. Hope to hear many happy stories.

  2. Awesome! I'll be ready when the Tau start pew pewing again. I'll throw up a neophyte or two so I can get good and mad at you :P

    "Brother Timicus... NOOOOO!!!!"

  3. I hope to have many happy stories to tell, or at least some funny ones. I quit playing Tau out of frustration, now I hope I can be more laid back about playing.

    Have fun taking saves Loki. I don't expect that you won't get a few guys to me, but your vehicles can take a seat over there.

  4. Bucking the monobuild is incredibly hard in most cases, because usually the term is used for a reason.

    For instance, without a boat load of rapid fire plasma suits, how do you handle FNP spam BA? Tau are designed to rely on only a few dice unfortunately, and Plasma Crisis Suits are spammed to mitigate that weakness (killing Marine hordes effectively).

    I don't have the money or inclination to try what you are speaking of with Eldar. Despite playing both lists for almost a year now I have not even come close to tiring of either list and still get much enjoyment out of mastering both. Maybe its just me but I don't feel the need to switch things up (unless someone is wiling to buy me models of course lol).

    I wish you luck on your journey of discovery. Whenever you need playtesting for a new idea drop me a line.

  5. Will do Kai. What I need most is time to get painting and converting.

  6. Ahh, but who needs vehicles when it takes not but one or two close combat models to make it to your lines to cripple the offensive >:D