Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Humble Beginnings of the Tau Empire.

I was helping my brother move some items to storage when I discovered a couple boxes of White Dwarfs. It turned out to be a collection of those magazine since the late nineties. So being a diligent Tau enthusiast I decided to try and locate the White Dwarfs that featured the Tau as an entirely new race back in 2001. To my delight,  I found them. Leafing through the old psuedo-magazines (aka advertizements), it was interesting to look back and read about the process of creating the new race. After reading it, I decided I might return from obscurity and start blogging again. I know it's been a long time. I've been spending lots time lately getting into this new hobby called parenting. 40k is still my main thing of course, but parenting is cool too sometimes.

Back on topic here. In October of 2001, the Tau were revealed to the world of 40k. At the time, I was collecting Chaos Space Marines and it wasn't a good fit for me. I was getting more mature in my tastes of fantasy worlds and I wanted something more Sci-Fi, something more realistic than daemon-possessed space marines. I was beginning to shy away from Knights and Elves in Space. Enter the Tau. Here was a line a miniatures that embodied the practicality and militarism I was looking for in 40k. They had a high level of technology, they had battlesuits, they had hover tanks, and more importantly for me, they didn't come with knives to a gunfight. This was a proper army for the battles of 41st Millennium!

Looking back at these White Dwarfs, I really like seeing the concept sketches done up the by the design team. I only wish the models were a little closer to these great images of battlesuits and armor clad space aliens.


Images copyright Games Workshop, used without permission. Please don't sue me. 

Fast forward almost 10 years, rumors of the 3rd incarnation of the Tau Codex are trickling through the warp. August 2011 is the date being uttered and I really hope it is sooner than that. My worry for sometime had been that Tau will go the way of the squats but it appears, to my pleasure, that this is not the case. Unfortunately though, the rumors of the new codex has actually shelved my Tau. I'm just not as interested in playing the old Dex, with the thoughts of a new one running through my head. I do have some color schemes I'd like to try out on an entirely new army, utilizing all the conversion work and painting skills I learned on my current Tau force. One thing I really want to see is a resurgence of Tau Stealth Suits. I've got around 15 of the old original metal models that are itching for some paint and my conversion saw. 

For now enjoy these pages I scanned from my old White Dwarf!

15 comments:

Dave D. said...

You sentiments on playing Tau currently are exactly the same as mine... Wait until the new codex! Although I don't have any stealth suits, I'm hoping for improvements in the Fast Attack and Battlesuit arena. Time will tell.

Nat X said...

I shelved my Tau army due to Dark Eldar. I was just getting murdered too much. Hopefully the new codex gives Tau a better way to handle them.

Old Shatter Hands said...

Wow! I am sorry to hear that I'm not the only one whose recently shelved their Tau. It's too bad. GW needs to make Tau better at shooting because nowadays, its simply a game of rolling dice and hoping to kill everything before it hits your lines.

Sheik Yoboddi said...

I'm exactly the same as you but for both my Tau AND my Eldar. Granted Eldar are still competitive but I think there's elements to both armies that desperately need an overhaul.

If Tau are going to remain useless in combat then they need better ways of either killing stuff before it reaches you or making it difficult for it to assault you when it gets there.

I'm having great fun with my Space Wolves at the moment though so I'm content to stick with them for now. Gonna save some cash up to blow on a big pile of Tau boxes if and when we get a new codex!

Harman Smith said...

I am joyous and very very happy to see a fellow blogger start writing again, invigoured by remembering our faction's roots. Especially a man of your caliber! Go, Shatterhands! For the greater good!

Nuclear said...

I am just starting tau because of obby inspiration from your blog and a few other places. I hope the tau get better, as I too like the play style of hi-tech gunline, over the more blunt approach of IG. Tried it first with my eldar, but they are just so fragile, and can only really throw s6, so I am looking to beef up the shooting with tau.

tim said...

I have been trying new ideas with the tau to keep them fresh. I am deep striking 7 crisis suits with weird weapon combos to deal with anything. I am outflanking a huge kroot squad (19 kroot, shaper, and 12 hounds). I am also taking 7 broadsides to destroy transports and to focus enemy fire to them.

Sholto said...

For a player like me who doesn't get more than a game of 40k a month (if that), there's plenty of life in the odder corners of the Tau codex, but I can understand wanting to stick them on a shelf knowing that something new and interesting is on the horizon.

Although when I say "odd corners" I think I have to draw the line at Aun'va ;)

Golmen94 said...

I agree that the Tau need an overhaul. The problem is that GW wants to make more money for their drug addiction or whatever. It seems that their strategy in the new codex's is making cheaper, deadlier units. Which means that you will need, and CAN field more units. That again means that you need to BUY more models ;P And I don't think that strategy will fit good with the Tau. :(

Old Shatter Hands said...

I don't mind that GW is trying to make more money...after that's the point of any company out there. The problem I have is the time it takes for any non-marine army to get a new codex...I mean jeez, give a hand here.

That said, Tau are still pretty good at the game. They're some of the best damage dealers out there, they just aren't as flexible in their tactics and army builds.

The new codex will come. It will. And when it does, I'm going to go crazy with new models!

Fonkin said...

I feel you on all counts; Tau shelving, parenting and angst on the future direction of Tau in this increasingly first-turn-win arena.

I can tell you that managing the parenting thing and gaming becomes a bit easier as your kid(s) grow up, as they can entertain themselves a lot better.

Cobalt Cannon said...

I'm really glad to see you back OSH.
I've been checking this blog for the last two months wondering what happened to you. Did you ever finish your Shas'el XV22?

The Tau definately have some dex issues right now comparatively to all the newer releases. Wargear that doesn't work anymore due to rules. Plasma rifles, and burst cannons, who's range is too short to fullfill their battlefield function. Their mobillity not being mobile enough anymore. Infantry needing squad support weapons for Force multiplication. Pathfinders not having the rules or gear for them to adequately fullfill their special forces role relegating them to mere suicide troops. ( Ie. Give a bonus as quickly as possible before they get wiped out )
Anyways, I am still a huge tau fan. They are the only futuristic spacefaring culture in 40K. The Eldar seem anachroonistic, as does every other race, baring Necrons.

Anyways, I'm glad to see you back blogging again.

Gus said...

I, on the other hand, have recently been playing Tau with renewed vigor. (no real reason why) I have been a follower of this blog for a long time, and would be sad to see it shut down for too long. Same thing happened over at Warhammer Tau. I have read pretty much every article you have here, and I do think it has helped me as a Tau player. I still follow the killing blow/mechanized forces strategy, despite what your more recent tactics articles have said, and I've been winning more games for the greater good! I'm not a veteran 40k player, and so it is probably simply a matter of getting better at the game. Thank you for your contributions to the Tau community!

TuaTua said...

I remember reading this issue! (not when tau were first released, when my uncle found it and gave it to me) It is really interesting were they got their inspiration it sits on my shelf as a prized issue since then. Ahh less tahan a year old memories...sniff.

The Scribe said...

Broham, those magazines go all the way back to the '80s. I have a magazine or two from "86 to '89, but the collection mostly starts in '93. It will last for a few more decades if I had some plastic sleeves for the magazines, and if you wouldn't leave them on the floor of your bathroom.