Friday, 7 October 2016

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

In Part One I went my idea for a new unit in the ATT challenge (the rail rifle moving to it's next stage of field testing), Part Two covered the new unit (Fire Warriors in training to become Firesight Marksmen with new Stealth technology taken from the Sniper Drones), and now I show you the final product.

Here's some pictures of the models just before basing:

After basing the models (and clearing up the shas'ui's helmet a bit), I wanted to take some in action shots like we see on codex dataslates, and throughout the codexs.  I did want to pop into my local Games Workshop and take some pics, but running a bit too close to the deadline I had to take some pic in my kitchen on a 2 by 2 battle board.

Unfortunately I think the pictures did not come as sharp as I wanted, and weren't as well lit as I wanted, but let me know what you think:

Here's a link to my completed entry, and a small pic is below:

Now one of the best things about these competitions is seeing all of the great conversions, painting and fluff writing all the competitors produce.  In total there was 16 competitors covering all the force organisation slots with some truly exceptional entries.  I highly recommend you give them a look here where you can see (along with all the entries) the judging criteria and how the voting is going (spoiler - I'm not going to win, but a recent surge has seem me move to a respectable mid table).  Alternatively you can follow this link to see the pdf containing all 16 entries, and this link here contains just my entry..

It was fun coming up with the idea behind the new unit, converting and painting it.  I would have liked to have the time to do the painting better, but real life got in the way.  I'll probably go over the red to make it smoother and change the shade slightly, but overall I'm happy with my entry and can't wait for ATT to run another competition like this.

A big shout out to the organisers of the competition, its clear they put a lot of effort in (such as the gorgeous dataslate templates), as well as all the competitors which have given the community lots of inspiration with such brilliant entries.


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.


Saturday, 1 October 2016

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

I logged onto my favourite Tau forum (Advanced Tau Tactica, known as ATT), and the main page had the logo above on it.  This looks interesting I thought, so I clicked in.  It was competition to get the creative juices flowing, there were prizes but the best thing would be loads of Tau generals coming up with new ideas and conversions.

I had also noticed that my Tau painting (Commander, Ghostkeel and Breachers) was really getting anywhere, and hopefully this would kick start my painting.  Without a tournament deadline to focus me on getting things painted my entruisiam for painting had dryed up.  I was hoping that the competition deadline would get me going.

The competition started in Aug, I came across the competition late August, and the deadline to get submissions in was the 30th Sept (for the observant among, yes that was yesterday, as we were barred for posting publically about our entry until the deadline had passed).

The aim of the competition was to build a new unit, including a fan codex dataslate for the unit.  Here's a link to the full rules.

The forum moderators and helpers had done a great job producing templates for the dataslate, but also stressing that the competition was for new units, and encourged the 2nd page of the dataslate to include fluff and more information to increase your chance of winning.

The Weapon

It definitely sounded fun, so I considered what unit I would like to make, but really it came down to what weapon I would like to see more of.  It was the Rail Rifle:

The Rail Gun is an iconic Tau weapon, and back it it's day when Broadsides had proper railguns they put the fear of God into any vehicle, so when a infantry sized version came out I was trilled.

In the 5rd edition codex, and the main place to get it was Sniper Drones, which in that codex could be purchased as 1-3 separate units for 1 heavy support slot ,each unit comprising a controller and 3 drones.  However even with nice stats of a Str6 AP3 shot the Sniper Drones could not compete with the other heavy Support slots, particularly the Broadsides and Hammerheads.  Also back in those days before the ally matrix each Heavy Support slot was crucial as you couldn't just start another detachment and in most cases were limited to 3 choices.

Rail Rifles were also available in pathfinder teams as experimental weapons.  They had the Gets Hot rule to show that they occassional killed the bearer from a power surge, and you could only take 3 per unit of pathfinders (but at least they came with a target lock so you didn't have to fire at the same target you were marker lighting.

In the 6th edition codex the Sniper Drones unit configuration changed and their weapons were changed to Long Shot Pulse Rifles (still a very good unit that I use all the time).  The Rail Rifle with the Pathfinders had lost the Gets Hot rule, but also lost the target lock so they had to fire at the same target as the marker lights.  Also joining the Rail Rifles were the experimental Ion Rifles (which could still kill the bearer if overcharged).  I think this was at the time that the profile changed to be AP1.

So the Rail Rifle is now a weapon that puts the Plasma Rifle to shame.  Both are rapid fire, but the Rail Rifle has 6" longer range, and 1 lower AP.  However it was still never seen on the battlefield, as at 26 points for a model as tough as a guardsmen is to much, particularly as most opponents would already be trying to kill the pathfinders as they are a source of marker lights.

So the premise of my entry would be to consider what the next stage of field testing for the Rail Rifle would be.

The Unit

So who should take this lovely weapon into the next stage of field testing.  The pathfinders already had the task of marker lighting, so who could make the best use of the Rail Rifle.

Well that will be in Part Two, coming in over the weekend,

If you can't wait, follow this link to the Competition thread, voting will take place between 3rd October and 7th October, so there should be the reveal of the entries some time over the weekend.  Not only will you be able to see my entry, but there should be loads of great ideas and conversions to look at :)



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