Sunday, 2 October 2016

ATT - Research & Development Challenge 2016 - Firesight Incursion Team - Part Two

The wonderful guys over at the Advanced Tau Tactica was running a competition to design a new Tau unit (here's a link to the competition thread).

In part one I described my inspiration for my unit, the wonderful Rail Rifle, and what would be its next stage of field testing.

I was thinking the Tau would give the Rail Rifle to their best infantry to try to get the best out of the weapon.  This would be, by a large margin the Firesight Marksmen, who control the Sniper Drone teams with their excellent BS5.  However I didn't like this for 2 reasons:

  • The Firesight marksmen seems very rare, in both the fluff and on the battlefield
  • Having a model that is quite fragile, being no tougher than a basic Fire Warrior, and yet with BS5 and an excellent weapon to give it excellent offensive firepower would be quite hard to give a reasonable points cost for.  On one side they would die to a stiff breeze from a few heavy bolters, but on the other side if they are allowed to fire, just 2 of them would have the offensive firepower of a 52 point crisis suit (with 6" extra range).
I settled on having the Rail Rifle being carried by a new team of Fire Warriors in training to be Firesight Marksmen (Firesight Warriors I called them).  To show their elite status the unit would have the preferred enemy special rule (in shooting only), I thought going up to BS4 would be too much and make the unit a bit too good.

Next, to set the unit apart I wanted them to have some other new technological advancement,  New Stealth technology on the Ghostkeel was something new in the last codex, but nothing infantry sized has Stealth and Shrouded, however the Sniper Drones teams have Stealth, so an advancement could be that this Stealth technology used on the Sniper Drones had been made lightweight enough to be carried by infantry.  This would give the model something different from just slapping a Rail Rifle on a Fire Warrior, and I had the perfect part in mind; a crisis suit shield generator:
The crisis suit shield generator combined with a helmet aerials from the Commander model added to the Fire Warrior backpack would make a nice Stealth Field Generator.

So time to rummage around the bits box, I found 6 Fire Warriors, so I quickly assembled the legs and torso.  I had to leave the heads because I wouldn't know what direction to point the head until I had assembled the arms.  I also found 3 crisis suit shield generators, so I ordered the rail rifle arms, 3 more shield generators and Commander helmet aerials from bits websites.

The rail rifles and commander aerials arrived first so I quickly assembled the first three Firesight Warriors (as I called them):
Next the crisis suit shield generators arrived, and I got a surprise.  The shield generators from the new crisis kit are marginally bigger than the old ones:
[2 Old Shield Generators on the left]
also the back of the shield generators was different.  The old shield generators had a nib on the back like the crisis suit weapons, which made it very easy to glue to the Fire Warrior backpack:
The new shield generator was different, and would require some awkward work to attach to the Fire Warrior backpack, so I decided to retro fit some shield generators I had on some old crisis suits I had bought off ebay with the intention to repaint (another project that didn't happen) to make the last three Firesight Warriors.

Finally I had my Firesight Incursion Team:

One complication I had was that the pathfinder arms were not expecting a Fire Warrior shoulder guard to be attached to them.  This wasn't really an issue on 5 of the models, but for the model holding the Rail Rifle across his chest there was no way the shoulder guard was fitting on, so I had to slightly cut the shoulder guard.  It looks a bit odd, but couldn't be helped and once the model is painted shouldn't look too bad.

That's all for now, part three I'll cover the painting and creation of the unit dataslate.


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