I’ve been slowly moving to a new paradigm in how I approach my hobby. In the past I would start a project, assemble, and play games with loads of unpainted and half painted models. But as I have gotten older I realize that model is unsustainable. I end up with a lot of half finish projects and while no project or army is ever 100% finished, I feel I can do better. I decided, moving forward, that I’m going to push hard to play with fully painted models. To that end, with Dropzone Commander I started with the starter boxed set, and when I finish that I will then select a model or two to slowly expand that force over time.
I decided to take a similar approach to my Tau, one of my favorite armies since their initial release. I’ve gone through several armies of Tau in the past but then about 10 years ago after I started collecting a new army, I never really made significant progress on them. I found myself playing more with my Necrons, an army that is nearly all painted. Well, with the release of the new Tau codex last year I found myself wanting to start my Tau army and why not? I had invested in some Forge World large vehicles such as the Tiger Sharks and the Orca and it seemed silly to just sell off the army especially since the Orca is out of print now.
So to my new goal of playing with painted models I decided to start back into Tau with a painted 500 points list, and then expand from there, with each new block being painted before I move onto the next, just like I’m doing with Dropzone Commander. After a few tries at my initial list, here is my first 500 points:
- Commander w/Airburst Fragmentation Projector, Missile Pod, Vectored Retro-Thrusters, and two Shield Drones (144pts)
- 10 man Breacher Team, Bonded w/Shas’ui and Guardian Drone (122pts)
- 12 man Strike Team, Bonded w/Shas’ui and Smart Missile Support Turret (130pts)
- Broadside Battlesuit w/TL Smart Missile System, TL High Yield Missile System, Counterfire Defense System, Shield Drone, and Marker Drone (94pts)
I aimed mainly for blocks of models I could build off, and while I could have taken smaller units of Fire Warriors or a couple of Crisis Battlesuits I decided that maxing out the squad was the way to go so I wasn’t painting half a squad or a whole squad but only half of the models. I may paint up some additional drones to go with the Fire Warriors as options for later.