A regular reader of Tau of War, Pearly Gates, commented on my last post and posed the following questions:
"Why did you decide to buy a Tau army? What was it that appealed to you about the Tau? was it how they look or did you read into their background BEFORE you decided to build a Tau army?
I'd also like to know everyone else's reason for getting a Tau army too please!"
This reminds of the old Warhammer 40,000 Codices (well semi-old). In the introduction to the codex on page 2 or something, they always had a section that was titled, Why Play a X Army?. And It was like this 2 paragraph pitch for the army in some half-hearted attempt to get you pumped up about them. It was this section you were supposed to read to help you decide whether the army was for you or not. I think they removed that funny little section because every new player knows right away what he wants to play just by looking at the models!
I started playing Warhammer 40,000 back in the 8th Grade and I am now 29. I actually started playing Fantasy and I had a Skaven Army that I had collected that was almost entirely metal. I gotta be honest with you it was 90% shoplifted stuff. After playing Fantasy for while, my friends and I started on Warhammer 40,000. Mt friend bought the then-new-release grey hunters box and I bought a bunch of old Chaos Marines off a friend for real cheap.
I played for a while but then mostly got into just painting miniatures and I ended up collecting and painting a Black Legion Chaos Space Marine Force from the really old codex. 2nd Edition was frought with a ridicuouls amount of tables and references that you constantly had your head in a book. I mean every single vehicle had three speeds and its own damage chart!
Warhmmer 40,000 3rd Edition came out and that was huge. I mean HUGE. It was a totally new way to play. There were less tables, everyone could rapid fire, not just marines. The grenade rules had changed as well for the worse in my opinion. Anyway, I was back in the game and collecting more and more Chaos Space Marines.
Years later, there were rumors of a new army coming out. White Dwarf released some concept art. I remember getting my first look at Jes Goodwin's rendering of battle-suits and drones and I was sold. They even had concept art from John Blanche, he had done a rendering of what would later become a Stealth Suits. It looked sick! I was sold. I was going to collect a Tau army.
On their website, GW released a teaser short story, a short piece of fluff, just months before their release. It was OK and it gave very vague descriptions of the units. My imagination ran wild.
Soon there was stuff all over the internet and I was getting all this information about the rumored release from Portent.Net, a site that was a great source of rumors and pics of unreleased models. I remember seeing the 3 ups of the Tau Hammerhead and greens of the Kroot and just getting so incredibly excited. I was like a 5 year old on Christmas Eve.
When the codex came out, I was there at Dream Wizards to buy the Tau Battle Force and Codex. It had 3 Crisis Suits, 12 Kroot, 12 Fire Warriors, something like 8 drones and jungle trees. It was great price and I assembled my models quickly. However, it took me like 2 years to get a color scheme I liked and with college, it took me almost 6 years to get a fully painted army. Nowadays I have more time and better methods so I can churn out models no problem.
Th Tau captured my imagination for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they seemed to make more sense to me. Warhammer 40,000 is set in the far future but few armies have the technology to show for it. On top of that, very few armies actually practiced modern warfare. I did not want to field units of bezerkers running across the field with swords. This was warfare in a world of rifles, tanks and fliers, why would you bring a sword with you? It's like bringing a knife to a gunfight. Tau made more sense to me than any other army. They had no psykers, no swords, and no monsters. They were practical and they were closer to modern warfare.
And who can forget their biggest selling point? They have battle-suits! I think the first release of Stealth Suits drew me in mostly. I still have the unit I painted almost 9 years ago. So really I think it was the models that did it for me mostly. Subconsciously it was the Asian design underpinnings that really make the Tau look cool. The old Stealth Suits looked like freaking Samurai with futuristic chain-guns, man. Pew-pew-pew!
Today, the Tau have a tough time because they've gain a reputation of being a weak and loser army. Everyone seems to agree that the models look great but that its tough to get a win with them. That's partly their appeal to me. They are the underdog in a lot of cases. I love it when people are like, yes, I'm playing Tau, it's going to be so easy and then I rock their with missile pods while they are chasing me around trying to get me into the assault.
Partly what I wanted to do when I set out with this blog is make the Tau army more effective by sharing field experience. I hope I've done so not just by my thoughts but the reader's thoughts as well.
My first White Dwarf!