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The Return to Taros @ 2018/06/02 13:52:57

Post by: kestral

I've started getting serious about the old Bucket List, and on it is doing a Taros Campaign. Loved that book, probably the pinnacle of 40K as military Sci Fi. After due consideration, I don't think I really want to do a refight of the first one, but rather a campaign taking place some years later.

Overview of the Taros Campaign from Forgeworld: http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Taros_Campaign

This requires a great deal of modeling vis:

Desert Terrain (Have a good start on this, but needs a bit more work)
Tau Terrain (Almost Nothing for this)
Tau Army (Basically done, maybe a few touch ups. My poor tau haven't been out of the box in many years).
Imperial Army (Insurgency Walker's super cool desert theme stuff)
Tau Auxiliaries (Mostly done)
Tau Mutiny (Auxiliaries gone over to Chaos) (Maybe half done).

Fluff now, Pictures Later.

Return to Taros

Once again, it all came down to Nymus Dree.

It had been Dree who had first detected the Tau infiltration of Taros in the first place, leading to the disastrous first and second Taros intervention. His diligence and attention to detail in his Emperor given duties had detected missing mineral resources, resources that were being syphoned off by the Tau. He had been rewarded with the post of Chief Provisioner of the expedition. This had turned out to be a thankless task, for it was the Tau strategy of attacking Imperial supply lines that had brought the invasion to its knees. Though Dree had struggled mightily, he had not been able to get enough supplies to the front, and in consequence the offensive had first stalled, then turned into a rout.

Dree’s Aquila lander had been shot down during the evacuation and he was presumed killed.

But Dree had not died. His pilot, panicking as the tau closed in on the air field at a forward logistics base where Dree had been overseeing the pull out of his staff and critical documents, had taken off without him, only to be shot down. He had reported Dree on board at take off. The Adminstratum clerk stood on a dusty airstrip holding a bundle of data crystals, watching in shock as his transport roared skyward. Swallowing as well as his parched throat would permit, he dropped the crystals and raised his hands shakily as the first Tau to arrive trained their weapons on him.

It would be expected that Dree’s story would end there - gunned down by vengeful tau seeking to take revenge for the death of their beloved Etherial or worked to death in a mining camp. But once again he cheated death with the Emperor’s help.

Assigned to the Gidamak mine workings, he was fortunate to be assigned to help manage accounts rather than hard labor a small, soft middle aged beurocrat would not have survived for long. Though in shock at first, he soon recovered, showing the same remarkable tenacity that had marked his service to the Emperor for decades. He had enough experience with imperial cogitators to make himself useful during the transition to Tau data systems. Conditions were not what he was used to by any means - obeying the orders of traitors and xenos, sleeping in a crowded dormitory cave, dressed in rags and eating vat grown foodstuff accompanied by a small ration of water. Still, he was alive, and while he was alive he might still serve the Emperor.

As Dree bided his time, the Tau consolidated their hold on Taros. Substantial projects were undertaken, including most notably a space elevator over the Pyrra Heights. Tau colonists and other Xenos species arrived in large numbers. Desert adapted plants from other worlds were imported in small numbers. Gas mining of nearby planets provided raw materials for a limited tau-forming operation. Some local industry was installed.

However, the tau plans for Taros fell into neglect during the Third Sphere expansion. Other, brighter jewels beckoned to the Etherials. Taros, of only middling value, was, by an odd quirk of warp geometry and galactic currents, still an exposed border planet, most notably connected to the Argo Cluster by a stable Empyrean gyre. This made it both vulnerable and unappealing as a jumping off point for further expansion, since the Tau could not use the Gyre but Imperial ships could. Taros became a backwater.
11 years standard after the retreat from Taros, that changed. A new sept was given responsibility for Taros, the Rinn’va. The Rinn’va Sept were an eccentric group, noted for adhering to older interpretations of the “Greater Good” doctrine. No sept worked more closely with other species, or was willing to take risks as great for purely altruistic reasons. Aun Mord Rinn saw Taros as an opportunity to demonstrate the worth of his ideas using a world that was deemed unimportant.

His first act upon arriving on Taros was to recruit humans who might help him realize his vision of a harmonious and productive world in service to the Tau Empire. Among them was Nymus Dree. Dree pretended to be won over, but in his heart he remained true, and he was able to recruit a small cabal of like minded men, survivors of the Taros intervention all. The cabal made itself indispensable to the Taros project using its specialized knowledge and leadership skills.

Dree faced three challenges as he saw it - how to escape Taros, how to convince the powers of the Imperium to return to Taros, and how to ensure that when they did, they would be victorious. Although he was by no means a young man, he flung himself into the challenge.

He soon realized, by observation and conversation with former officers of the Imperial Guard, that the Third Taros intervention would be very different from the second. In the first, the Tau had enjoyed many advantages. They were using front line troops with a high tech index. With almost nothing to defend (being largely unconcerned about the human civilian population) and being almost completely airmobile, they were able to strike and fall back at will - textbook tau tactics. They had every advantage over the Imperial Guard, and they had destroyed the guard with clinical precision by attacks on their supply lines. In a war on a near lifeless world, that had been decisive.

The situation was now completely different. The Rinn’va had little access to front line equipment. The mighty Riptide, for example, was absent from their order of battle. Though their hunter Cadres were hardened fighters, their gear was patchwork and they relied heavily on auxiliary forces of variable quality and potentially uncertain loyalty. They had fewer of the critical Mantas and Orcas that had supplied the tau’s mobility in the second intervention. They were invested in the planet and its infrastructure. They would have many fixed population and industrial centers to defend, and those centers would furnish valuable resources to Imperial Invaders when captured. While Taros was still sparsely populated, it was a bustling metropolis compared to the Pre-Tau world. Previously the Tau had largely evaded the sledgehammer onslaughts of the guard - this time they would have to fight on ground not of their choosing.

It was possible that the Rinn’va might resort to a scorched earth strategy, but they would do with reluctance, given the energy they were pouring into the Taros Project. They would fight hard to defend what they had built, and that would be their undoing.

Did Dree feel the lure of the Rinn’va vision of a world of the greater good? Perhaps. He might have given up his dream and simply lived out his days on Taros had he not perceived that their was a third player in the great game - for Chaos had come to the desert world.

The Rinn’va were naturally unconcerned with their auxiliaries’ cultural practices as long as they were not actively killing each other over them. They simply could not understand Dree’s heated warnings about the signs and rites practiced among some of their Sepoy formations. Indeed, they saw the new cult as largely beneficial, for it cut across species and homeworld, providing a uniting bond among their allies. To the extent that they were aware of it at all, they were supportive. True, mutational effects were sometimes disturbing, but the tau were niave to much of the true nature of the galaxy, and so no great harm in it.

Dree might have fallen for the blandishments of the greater good, but as a high ranking adminstratum official he knew enough that he would never consign a world to Chaos. Accordingly, he pushed forward his plan.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/06/02 16:34:22

Post by: monkeytroll

Interesting.....with my main interest being the Tau mutiny obviously

The Return to Taros @ 2018/08/25 14:09:51

Post by: kestral

I had all kinds of plans for the Chaos Mutiny among the tau Auxiliaries - we'll see how many of those come to fruition.

Here's my first piece of terrain specifically for this - desert tank traps.

And a few old Pics of some tau/Mutiny stuff:

The Return to Taros @ 2018/08/27 00:10:53

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Cool, do you plan on working this into the Argo Cluster campaign? Good use for more wheels

The Return to Taros @ 2018/08/27 00:21:12

Post by: Syro_

A start to another great project, I'm looking forward to seeing your work. That is a great Imperial Armour book, it make me tempted to start a Tau army just to be able to play along

The Return to Taros @ 2018/08/29 13:12:01

Post by: kestral

 Insurgency Walker wrote:
Cool, do you plan on working this into the Argo Cluster campaign? Good use for more wheels

Nice vehicle!

I was thinking of it as a Prequel to the Argo Campaign, less RPG and more straight up 40K/battle fleet gothic battles, though it might fit....

Yeah, Taros was a great book. I want to try to write a bunch of stuff in the same style.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/08/30 23:46:11

Post by: Insurgency Walker

I'm like the historian of chimera conversion kits. (I'm also surprised Benny hasn't found this picture.) Either way I'd dig a throw down against the Tau, found my LR exterminator to boot. Look out! That kit has been boxed up for years.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/08/31 00:30:25

Post by: Meer_Cat

Interesting new project and the desert dragon's teeth look very good!

The Return to Taros @ 2018/10/13 01:07:04

Post by: kestral


Some small progress, though Miniatures have been on the back burner lately, and what hobby attention I have has been quite divided.

Col. Helstromm's staff car (Conversion by I-Walker)

To'ok tau Auxiliaries:

For reference - one painted in non desert camo :

I plan to part paint them for Taros, doing just the tan, yelow, and maybe light green, then finish them to this scheme someday later.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/10/13 02:22:32

Post by: John Prins

 kestral wrote:

Tau Terrain (Almost Nothing for this)

If you have 2 Droneports, the extra bits make 4/6 of a circle to form an arch, and you can use the extra steps as well.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/11/17 16:30:42

Post by: kestral

Hmmm - good point about the droneports. I've generally been negative on the tau terrain kits (not "gritty" enough for me), but they would be a great source of terrain detailing bits. Maybe I should pick up a couple for that purpose!

In the meantime: Imperial Command Car, Third Taros Intervention

Most notable among the imperial officers was Col. Helstrom. Energetic and unconventional, Helstrom was critical in many actions during the campaign. Helstrom was noted for the use of unusual, sometimes improvised command vehicles, such as the Plasteel Falcon Valkyrie and the "Maus" extended body sentinel. Probably the most unusual was a converted Hive Cruiser Mark 4. Although the use of a civilian vehicle might seem a poor choice for a senior commander in a war zone. the "Greif" had a number of advantages. Capable of nearly 200 kiloms per hour on packed hardpan or tau roads (of which Taros had a great deal), it could get him to a critical point in the battle faster than any other vehicle in areas with strong Tau Air defenses. Additionally, Tau Battle Protocols assigned that type of vehicle such a low target priority that it was often ignored... ...to their cost.

Imperial Command Car: Fast Vehicle, Armor 10-10-10. Transports 5 models, however it may not move or fire while passengers are disembarked since it has no dedicated crew. Cannot be targeted by shooting unless it is the closest model to the firing unit. Equipped with a hunter killer missile and a... ...I really don't know what that is.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/11/20 12:33:52

Post by: kestral

The tau pursued an agressive "Tau Forming" program, and worked to enhance Taraos' biosphere with carefully selected and engineered plant forms. Most of these were simple lichens or algaes, but they also included some more advanced life forms such as these barrel cacti.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/11/24 13:13:45

Post by: kestral

The To'ok Expeditionary Force.

With Taros under attack, the Water Caste scrambled for allies. The Tau Empire would do what it could, but the Rinn'Va were a splinter sept, and not a priority, and Taros's astrographic position was exposed. And so the Water Caste went further afield, to a minor Xenos race, the To'ok. The Rinn'va had had productive contact with the To'ok, an industrialized but largely planet bound species. The To'ok were no strangers to war however, and had fought often among themselves and against alien incursions and at least one Rogue Trader during their history. Accordingly, they assembled a sizable expeditionary force for Taros. The experience such troops might gain could be the difference between survival and extinction if the Imperium turned its attention to the To'ok in the future.

The Expeditionary force arrived on Taros in high spirits. The Elite of an entire world, they were all To'ok knights, every one the best of the best, equipped with the best their technology had to offer - suits of power armor proof against any infantry weapon they had ever encountered. They expected to drive the lowly imperial conscripts before them.

However, early engagements by the To'ok en masse were disastrous. The To'ok came from a world of forests, waterways, and cities. They had no doctrines for dealing with vehicles and air power in the open deserts, and their theoretical plans proved flawed. Since every member of the expedition was, according to the To'ok, of at least Shas'ui rank, co-ordination with the Tau was initially poor. Logistics were a constant challenge, since each To'ok's suit was hand crafted and parts were not standardized. The To'ok themselves suffered under desert conditions, being a riverine species that loved the water. Worst of all, their armor was bulky and limiting, and proved to be penetrated by Heavy Bolter rounds, meaning that the standard To'ok trench attacks on foot against imperial positions were repelled with massive losses.

The To'ok might have collapsed, but they were the elite of their world, and they adapted. Individual To'ok squads were integrated into Hunter Cadres as shock troops. They adapted and integrated tau weaponry at least on at least a small scale. In the later stages of the war they were to play a vital role in many small actions.

Here we see a To'ok marksmen. Although the Tau would rather the To'ok equipped themselves entirely with short ranged assault weapons, the To'ok squads saw themselves as independent, and included a marksman or sniper in each group. Most of these were carrying tau Pulse Rifles by the end of the war, which gave them the ability to engage imperial light vehicles. This soldier has chosen more camo markings than most Knights on Taros. The To'ok regarded camouflage as a form of Heraldry, and there was considerable variation.

Modelling wise the To'ok are only half done, but aside from a few details like the banner that I haven't decided how to handle, they should be fine on the table.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/11/24 17:18:38

Post by: Syro_

I'm really digging the To'ok, both the models and fluff. Where did these models come from, I've never seen them before? Great work!

The Return to Taros @ 2018/11/24 22:04:15

Post by: kestral

Thanks! They are Zombiesmith models:


I asked for a way to buy only the full armored models, and Josh was very accommodating - gave me a great deal too.

In game wise I think they will have a 3+ save, but not get a save vs. AP 4 weapons.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/11/25 06:37:10

Post by: Insurgency Walker

That is the Hot-Shot Volly gun from a Taurox. Always looked kind of Tau tech heracy to me so I thought it would be a good choice

The Return to Taros @ 2018/11/25 17:36:47

Post by: kestral

I thought it was some kind of hell-gun.

And now:

Slygar Dunewalker.

A man of unknown origins and uncertain loyalties, Slygar walks across Taros bearing a casket of water on his back. His knowledge of Taros is unequaled, from the treacherous Phyrea Heights to the Salt Sea Caverns.

Slygar is a Fast Attack choice for the Imperium. A single infrantry squad may be joined by Slygar and may then deploy in reserve and may arrive on any table edge. However, when they become available roll a die - on a 1 Slygar has betrayed them. Remove Slygar, deal D6 wounds to the unit (armor saves apply), and the opponent choses where they set up.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/11/25 23:34:44

Post by: amazingturtles

Great story telling as always! He is quite nifty as well, i like the container things on his chest.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/11/26 00:03:52

Post by: Insurgency Walker

 kestral wrote:
I thought it was some kind of hell-gun.

And now:

Slygar Dunewalker.

A man of unknown origins and uncertain loyalties, Slygar walks across Taros bearing a casket of water on his back. His knowledge of Taros is unequaled, from the treacherous Phyrea Heights to the Salt Sea Caverns.

Slygar is a Fast Attack choice for the Imperium. A single infrantry squad may be joined by Slygar and may then deploy in reserve and may arrive on any table edge. However, when they become available roll a die - on a 1 Slygar has betrayed them. Remove Slygar, deal D6 wounds to the unit (armor saves apply), and the opponent choses where they set up.

Wow, he is looking good. Cool back story and effects.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/11/27 10:51:26

Post by: kestral


Kroot Trackers - they always make the journey, although sometimes they arrive without the horses....

The Shaper is one of my favorite tau figures. He should get some fluff.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
Or maybe he'll make his own fluff with that eviscerator!

The Return to Taros @ 2018/11/30 01:36:35

Post by: kestral

Possessing a number of Sentinels in various states of repair after the first two Taros wars, the Earth Caste of the Rinn'va experimented with various hybrids of Tau and Imperial technology controlled by Drone intelligences for long range patrols, fire support and dangerous recon missions. Never numerous, these "Frankenstein" creations were surprisingly useful if short lived.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/02 04:13:27

Post by: kestral

Working through my old tau figures for the sake of completeness:

XV-86 Broadside. An early, obsolescent version of the Broadside, the XV-86 none the less was feared on Taros. Unable to mount the High Yield Missile pods common on later marks, the 86s often did not mount smart missiles or plasma rifles due to shortages. Their railguns however operated at high efficiency....

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/03 02:03:31

Post by: Syro_

The thought and story going into all of this is really enjoyable.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/04 22:29:58

Post by: kestral

Thanks! I loved the Taros book because it was "humble" - average inhabitants of the Galaxy waging a war that felt "real (ish)" to someone who had read a little military history, rather than a cosmic clash of space super heroes.

The Architects of the Defense of Taros:

In its later phases the Colonization of Taros was overseen by Aun'Mord Rinn. He would also leadership during the imperial attack, though he did not exercise direct command. A grim figure, he had lost his arm during the Rinn'va's wars on Skaith and never chosen to have it replaced. He was assisted by several Etherials, notably one who went by the name "Aun'Shi", believed by Imperial intelligence to be a clone of the original tau hero. A third notable figure was Aun'Geula Laura, sometimes called the "Human Etherial". Nearly the entire 2nd Valarian Armored All Terrain Rangers had been forced to surrender on Morvall and imprisoned in camps on Taros after being abandoned by Imperial forces. Seeing an opportunity, the Tau began a program of indoctrination. In truth, Valarians were never particularly staunch imperial subjects and needed relatively little prompting before joining the Tau, first against the Orks. Laura Montaign, daughter of an officer,grew up in the camps and was converted to the Greater Good at an early age. She proved an inspirational figure to the Tau Auxiliaries, though there was a darker side to her role, which included a number of summary executions. The Valarians had a tradition of "Etoiles Mortant", daughters of officers who embodied regimental honor and were almost as quick to dispense battlefield "motivation" as any imperial commissar. Still, the loyalty of the Valarians was never a given, as the Mutiny would show.

Early modeling efforts of mine - I could do better today, but I'm still fond of them. Might redo Aun Mord'Rinn's hood someday though.

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My favorite part is the pinned sleeve.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/05 23:31:31

Post by: kestral

Getting read to build tau terrain - a decade of vaguely tau shaped objects dumped out on the table!

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/07 01:24:56

Post by: Syro_

Wow this looks like it's going to be epic. I'm also glad to hear I'm not the only one who stockpiles random stuff in preparation to build Tau terrain. I've been doing it for years too, almost all strangely shaped rounded bottles in my case. I'm looking forward to seeing this progress

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/07 01:32:48

Post by: kestral

Some things just say "tau" when you look at them! Of course, I've found that with it all dumped out I have no room to work on anything.... : )

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Trying to winnow it down is kind of painful. I too have some very neat plastic bottles....

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/07 03:01:43

Post by: arnoldz

Looks like it's going to be epic. Turns out I'm not the only one to stockpile and prepare random stuff.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/08 02:26:39

Post by: kestral

Sadly, the epicness will be limited by the requirement that it fit in a tote. I'm planning some cunning nesting though!

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/09 02:05:58

Post by: kestral

Too cold to work on terrain, so I painted up some devilfish wrecks I made many years ago using a crude press molding process on a battered fish. They are kind of warped, but that is Ok for a twisted wreck that has half buried itself in the ground. Not sure i should have dirtied them up as much as I did though.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/09 20:24:19

Post by: Private Benjamin

 Insurgency Walker wrote:
I'm like the historian of chimera conversion kits. (I'm also surprised Benny hasn't found this picture.) Either way I'd dig a throw down against the Tau, found my LR exterminator to boot. Look out! That kit has been boxed up for years.

I haven't seen the Blood and Skulls Industry Chimera conversion kit completed, only saw it available on eBay...

The completed eight wheel kit with Pegasus hull & turret looks more like the German Boxer or Marder APC, excellent work sir!

Although i do like the look of the 8-wheel kit it is a bit pricey for me; also i find the Chapterhouse kits look more like the M8 Greyhound or Canadian Forces AVGP

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/11 13:33:37

Post by: Insurgency Walker

I got one of the Agrius kits, had hoped to build it before thanksgiving but life has been busy. I got an extra Agrius light turret to place on this 8 wheeler. Though I might just use a bog standard chimera turret. The Agrius turret is large enough to cover the rear deck hatch which breaks the functionality of the model......ggrrrrrr. As a straight 8 wheel up grade it's not to pricey but add in the hull top and turret and it gets expensive.

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I originally got hyped for wheeled conversions for desert warfare operations so the return to Taros is the perfect reason to finish those projects.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/11 19:12:33

Post by: kestral

I look forward to seeing lots of cool sci fi military hardware rumbling across the desert!

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/11 21:30:26

Post by: Private Benjamin

 kestral wrote:
I look forward to seeing lots of cool sci fi military hardware rumbling across the desert!

The original concept for my wheeled vehicles comes from the American-built M8 Greyhound, which was fielded by the French Foreign Legion in Indochina:

Using an eclectic selection of resin bits, I assembled my version of a buttoned-down Armageddon armoured personnel carrier:

Keep up the great work kestral and Insurgency Walker !!!

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/11 22:46:44

Post by: kestral

That is a neat assemblage of bits. I like the lascannon hatches particularly.

Continuing to post the Tau Forces, we have - Auxiliaries!

According to the Ordo Xenos 32 species fought on Taros in the third Intervention. Some of these were formal allied contingents, such as the To'ok, some were integrated members of the Tau Empire, such as the Kroot and Vespid, some were basically mercenaries, and some were part of trade delegations and the like who simply got caught up in the fighting.

None were as infamous as X'xlal and Chuma, who might be described as a winged insect with a flamer accompanied by an aquatic hippene mammal with a jet pack. The two were said to be the last of their species, survivors of Exterminatus, though that may have been Tau Propaganda. Regardless, they shared a bond of implacable hatred for the Imperium. Loosely affiliated with the Crimson Sky hunter Cardre, they were eventually the subject of large imperial bounties....

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/12 01:23:05

Post by: Syro_

I'm loving all this fluff made rule that you are doing. Where is all this info coming from? The Imperial Armour book? If so, I really need to read more carefully. I really like that you are making all these Xeno allies.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/12 14:53:58

Post by: kestral

The fluff is an extension of the Imperial Armor book, 30 years in the future. A few characters are the same, such as Nymus Dree, but most are invented, as is the entire Mord Rinn Sept, and the notion of Taros becoming a backwater of the Tau Empire.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
Col. Helstrom is a character of I-Walkers from the Argos Campaign: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/524342.page

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/12 23:26:59

Post by: Syro_

Thanks for the explanation, it has such background and depth it was hard to tell if you were creating the story yourself or getting it from somewhere.
That Argos campaign looks fun and interesting.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/13 17:43:06

Post by: Captain Brown


Those are some unique conversions you have built there.



The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/13 23:31:40

Post by: kestral

Thanks! The bug is actually partly a cast of an actual (dead) dragonfly....

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/29 00:17:31

Post by: kestral

Painted up the rest of I-Walker's Mantic Mules.

These three I did with wash for a dirty,dusty look. I think they will be a utility vehicle that turns up on both sides of the conflict.

I'm kind of flipping through my hobby projects at a furious rate - should settle down and work on something more substantial.

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/29 20:58:34

Post by: Private Benjamin

Those are some cool armoured vehicles, i went through and voted for each photo!

The Return to Taros @ 2018/12/30 22:07:36

Post by: insaniak

Those mules look great!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/02 01:56:17

Post by: kestral


So, the great Taros Painting Weekend has been scheduled, the goal being to paint as much of I-Walkers's Imperial Guard as we can, especially the tanks, while watching tank/desert/war movies. I've always wanted to do the speed painting an army in a weekend challenge, and this seems a good time and good excuse.

Here's the protype for the vehicle speed paint - just a section for approval before I clock myself painting the whole thing.

Recipe so far:
Wash with Agrax Earth Shade
Dry Brush with Reaper Terran Khaki.
Tracks, fuel tanks, other accents: Munitorium Grey. Need more of this, I'm almost out.
Utility Metal: Runelord Brass. Mine has some kind of jelling issue.
Lights - Craft Paint "Parrakeet" green.

Also figuring out a Rough Rider. Time consuming and annoying as a speed paint subject. Here's a WIP.

Basecoat White.
Nuln Oil.
Khorn red turban with Purple Ink.
Reaper Uniform Brown tunic/gloves, seraphim Sepia.
Leather - Mournfang Brown.

Fill gaps with Squadron Putty.
Craft Paint Pewter Grey.
Dry Brush Reaper Misty Grey.
Mane and tail - Craft Paint Burnt Umbar.

Will get a black wash, then white detailing, kind of an apoloosa thing.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/03 16:22:25

Post by: kestral

The Rough Rider looks better with some ink and the details done....

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/05 14:04:29

Post by: kestral

Test tank is done. Took me about 90 minutes. Used a LOT of ink. I forgot about a few power cables I was going to paint, but eh.

I'd like to do some quick rust effects on the exhaust. I think we should do everything en Mass in steps - all the wash, all the drybrush, all the tracks, do all insignia, etc. That way the army as a whole will be in the same place.

The forgeworld Vanquisher is a beautiful, beautiful model. Oddly though, it appears to have no forward vision blocks for the commander, which is unlike FW.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
The inking Agrax is the critical step and can't be rushed, though I might experiment with a larger brush.

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Looks much better in this lighting.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/06 22:14:09

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Looks awesome, though it's actually a Conqueror turret.
I loved the idea of the assault tank when it came out in various editions. From its role as titan escort, to my vision of a tank that could deploy a bit more rapidly than the standard Leeman Russ. I was also inspired by the " less popular weapons" options from the WWII pacific campaign. The pacific became a dumpster for arms and munitions that didn't fit the perceived top tier capabilities used in the European theater. Things like the low level parachute bombs were cast off on the pacific theater then used to good effect when tactics were developed for their use. Come my little stubby gunned Conqueror, the Astra Millitarum may not want you but we have plenty of aliens and heretical cultists for you to crush right here in the Helstrom Imperial Guard Taros task force.

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 kestral wrote:
The Rough Rider looks better with some ink and the details done....

"The soldiers who took up arms against the imperium and aided the Tau in the fighting on Taros often marked themselves with blue to show support for the greater good. I even heard that water was holy to the Tau, as they evolved from fish. Plus they have that whole blue skin look if you have ever seen them outside their armor. Anyway, we chose to mark our selves with red. Everyone thought we were being backed by Mars. I certainly didn't do anything to convince them otherwise."

Col Helstrom on discussion of action on Taros

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/07 01:01:52

Post by: kestral

Oops, I meant to say Conquerer! Great fluff on the red. Important speed painting discovery - small makeu up brushes put on wash REALLY quickly.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/07 23:23:41

Post by: Captain Brown


If you can do a Leman Russ in 90 minutes you will have your armies built and painted in no time.

I have not seen a painted Tallarn Rough Rider in ages.



The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/09 12:30:21

Post by: kestral

I hope so - on the other hand, I-Walker has a LOT of tanks!

In the meantime, War Material Loading for Taros:

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/10 22:54:30

Post by: Captain Brown

The weakness of the first Imperial counter invasion.

Nice work there kestral.



The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/11 01:08:50

Post by: kestral

The first Taros war was actually very one sided when you come right down to it. As presented, the tau fought a masterful campaign against an ill prepared and technologically inferior (in many ways) enemy. The wide open desert and near complete lack of fixed points to be defended was perfectly suited to old school tau tactics. They retained air superiority and air mobility and thus the ability to strike anywhere at will. The Imperium's space superiority was miss used and contributed little. Their technology apparently mitigated their supply problems - you didn't see them dying of thirst. This time, with Taros being more developed, and the Imperium better prepared, it is certain to go harder.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/11 01:31:42

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Well, I have been pairing things down and have a selection of armor but probably need to nick a few more off the list.

Automatically Appended Next Post:

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/11 14:25:35

Post by: kestral

Nah, we can that many! A number of tanks I haven't seen yet there. What is the Chimera situation?

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Actually I see - there are two variant chimeras in the mix I think.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/12 02:49:14

Post by: kestral

The Imperial War Machine Gears up! 5 hours in 12 tanks inked and drybrushed!

Roughrider prep is the order of the day tomorrow morning, followed by tank detailing.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
13 Actually.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/13 20:17:18

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Progress has been made!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/13 23:09:47

Post by: kestral

Looking good!

I really appreciate the snacks and enjoyed the conversation. Never really painted in company before, it was quite pleasant.

We spent some time talking about the campaign naturally, and I'll jot down some thoughts.

Fluff wise, the Imperium should have air superiority, since I don't have any tau flyers and don't plan to get any. The tau will, however, have strong air defenses, which will somewhat mitigate that. The Imperium is likely to field more armor, the tau will be more rag tag and bob tail and fielding more infantry.

I am going to do a tau improvised/auxiliary tank based on the Swedish S Type.

Probably use old Codexes as the base - Tau 1st or 2nd edition, the Imperial Guard one with Doctrines.

Each of us will write the rules for the new units/units not in codexes/conversions/units that didn't have rules at the time and the other player will set the point cost.

Game structure may go like this:

Player one writes the pre-battle fluff from their side. "Believing the imperium to be off balance, the Tau launched a flanking attack through the Ka'lun dune sea consisting mostly of devilfish mounted infantry. Their objective was reach the causeway, dig in, and cut the imperial supply line"
Player two writes the pre battle fluff from their side. "Imperial lighting recon planes spotted the rooster tails kicked up in the sand by the skimmer attack in time for reinforcements to be dispatched to support the blocking forces of the 4th regiment."
Player one then writes the scenario rules. After the battle, the roles reverse. Campaign is a set number of games, the fate of Taros decided by the number of victories on each side.

Terrain Idea:

Buy some stretchy, desert yellow cloth. Use that as a base, but also sculpt sand dunes out of foam and cover them with it, thereby mitigating some of the annoyance of painting, chipping, etc.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/14 13:15:02

Post by: Insurgency Walker

The IG tankers dream, no blocking terrain! If only the Tau didn't have those pesky rail guns. I think we are going to need lots of smoke markers, the line type you made for the car game and then arty shell puff balls.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/27 21:34:54

Post by: kestral

The guard engaged in more preparation than they had in the first Taros campaign. Extensive training took place on the desert world of Armket. Here a Talarn regiment clashes in a training expedition clashes in an excercise against the Valarian 3rd Armored All Terrain Rangers. There was some question as to whether or not the Valarians would be included in the Order of Battle. Their sister Regiment, the 4th AATR, had been captured a decade ago by the Tau - and after years in internment camps, many had gone over to the Tau. The training was particularly "enthusiastic" with one fatality from a sentinal stomp in simulated close combat and a dozen sent to the infirmary. It was also marred by accusations of Valarian cheating, as the "Lucky 13" tank failed to register 4 laser destroyer hits and as many battle cannon impacts, rolling forward seemingly unstoppably. Eventually the Valarians were judged to have won the battle on ground occupied, and commissars and Referees separated the two groups after a fist fight broke out between the crew of the Lucky 13 and a Conquerer.

This was a training game for us as well, as we tried to figure out just what flavor of "Oldhammer" we wanted to use. I gave most of my guard Camoline, and found that this gave them about the resistance I feel infantry in cover should have. We ran light buildings as 3+ cover, which seemed good too, since you needed to flame or storm the buildings. We used the rule that a template that covered the whole building hit everyone inside while one that partially covered the building hit half of them. Given that we'll be using a fair number of buildings that are enclosed due to the terrain set, good building rules are pretty important, and I thought these were about right. We couldn't actually find the right edition of the rules, so we had to fiddle or fudge quite a bit based on memory. The 4th edition guard codex seemed a bit too restrictive in hind sight.

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It was great to see the newly painted tanks hitting the table. I look forward to painting more, especially some air power.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/01/27 22:51:07

Post by: Syro_

Great battle report and pictures. It was a fun read.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/05 01:13:08

Post by: kestral

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.

Rules wise, we want to tighten it up a bit, pick an actual edition with our own changes, and put them in writing. While we play friendly games just fine, Taros is likely to be a bit more competitive and I certainly would enjoy that. Plus, like most old time players, I'm always musing over the "Perfect Edition" (for me anyway).

Right now we're looking at 5th edition, 2008:

My rules wish list - spoilered as they are not really Modeling, per se.


Pg 16 - the decision to run is made during the movement phase. Units moving through terrain may make the decision to run after they see what they roll on their difficult terrain check.
Pg 16 - I loath true line of sight. Area terrain blocks line of sight (not that there will be much of that on Taros) as long as it is as tall as the models in the unit. Units in Area terrain can see and be seen through 6" of it.
Pg 26 - Instant death. I've always felt this is a little too "all or nothing". I prefer "When a model with multiple wounds is takes a wounding hit from a powerful weapon and fails its save, there is a chance it may be fatal. Roll to a die for each point of the weapon's strength exceeds the model's toughness. For every "6" rolled, an additional wound is scored. No saves are taken against these wounds. This would be rough on demon princes and carnifexes, but we won't see many of those on Taros. Or we can give them Eternal Warrior.
P 27 Pistols. "A model may fire a pistol in the close combat phase in place of its normal attacks. However, on a roll of 1 it hits its own unit".
P 30 Blasts. I prefer the Privateer Press blasts with numbered directions around the edge.
Shooting Generally: A grenade throw should be included.
P 31 Sniper weapons. The obvious use of Sniper weapons is to pick off characters, special weapons, etc. Add "Sniper weapons may choose to fire at -1 ballistic skill. If they do so, every to hit roll of 6 is allocated to the model of the firing players choice. Roll to wound and armor saves separately for these shots."

P 35 - Defender Reactions: I prefer some form of overwatch, but not the "hit on 6" business that seems to take a ton of dice rolling for little effect. Some form of "you can set overwatch, but taking a pinning test or moral test (pass or fail) negates it. Takes some thinking though.

P 36. Although the strike first/second dynamic had its points, it always caused some oddities. Replace paragraph 2 with: "Being in cover does not provide as much protection against assault as it does shooting, but it is better than nothing. When models assault into cover, they subtract 1 from their rolls to hit.

Assault Grenades negate the -1 penalty to hit when assaulting into cover.

Well, that is enough for tonight! Now some painting.

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Hmmm - got carried away there. I can't help it, I am a horrible rules tinker. Really, we should stick to just the most critical changes, those that are important for tau vs imperial guard.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/07 18:46:14

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Rather than start my own thread I'll sort of hijack this one, as this is for the Taros campaign.

Col Helstrom being a fan of downright sneaky and dirty tactics turned to the Engineseers for advice on making the most effective smoke screens for the imperials on maneuver. The result was the Helsmoker.

Using captured supplies and local light duty trucks the Helsmokers used a special blend of promethium and other detergents the resultant smog was so think it was capable of interfering with even the Tau auspex systems.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
Hm....needs more tubes.

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The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/07 20:27:39

Post by: amazingturtles

The additional tubes were a good choice. More tubes often are.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/07 22:38:49

Post by: Meer_Cat

Helsmoker Brand Smoked Grot- it's what's for dinner!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/08 16:20:40

Post by: kestral

Looking good! How will the low tech imperial Active Stealth fair against the high tech tau passive stealth?

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/08 16:47:29

Post by: Captain Brown

 kestral wrote:
Looking good! How will the low tech imperial Active Stealth fair against the high tech tau passive stealth?

Spray paint traps.



The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/08 19:13:27

Post by: kestral

Sounds nasty. Or crop dusting?

And now a little bit about the Mutiny.

The Tau had, as was their custom, payed little heed to the rituals and customs of their auxiliaries. Unknown to them, a cancer had begun to spread among them, a taint with its roots in the first Taros War.

The seed of this bitter fruit was Shas'o R'myr.

R'myr had led the first defense of Taros as supreme commander and won a masterful victory. His war would be a template for many other successful campaigns. Yet it would also destroy him. For the victory had come at a price - in the final stages of the war, the imperial Operation Deathblow had resulted in the death of the Etherial Aun'vre under R'myr's direct protection. He was exonerated, yet even so his career was doomed, and for him, the shame would never fade. He drifted from command to command, generally sinking lower and becoming primarily a commander of Auxiliaries. In time he preferred their company to their that of tau, living, eating and... ...worshipping alongside of them. For in the dark places of himself and the galaxy, R'myr had found... ...something. He returned to Taros, joined the Rinn Va, and prepared for his last war.

Here's my current R'myr figure. Not all that thrilled with it, but we will see.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/09 23:57:23

Post by: kestral

Discipline was a continual headache on Armket. Unlike during the first Taros Campaign, several of the regiments mustered were second rate, with all the attendant problems. Rivalries and boredom led to all sorts of lapses. The commissariat struggled to maintain order. Would the regiments "shake down" when they were embarked for Taros, or would there be long term problems? Provisoner Dree fretted endlessly, but his primary concern was the supply train that had failed so thoroughly in the first war.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/13 01:57:12

Post by: kestral

Test Panel for the Tau Space Station Interior:

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/13 05:47:03

Post by: Stormatious

Nice work mate.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/13 22:30:36

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Another Helsmoker.

And a space station boarding squad.

"Dude, you can't light that fuse in a vacuum...."

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/13 22:36:07

Post by: kestral

"Is there Air in there? You don't know!"

Looking great!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/13 22:44:52

Post by: fasterthanlight

Love that boarding squad!!


The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/23 23:05:34

Post by: kestral

The Dawnwater's Edge station was the crown Jewel of Taros - its hope for the future and the anchor of its economy under the Tau. Its beanstalk cables joined Taros and space, heaven and Earth. The Imperial primary battle plan relied on capturing it intact. The Tau were ill prepared and faced with a terrible quandry as the imperial ships raced for the station - destroy it or try to hold? In the end they tried to hold, a perhaps fatal mistake. Everyone who could fight did, aside from personnel too valuable to risk.

Perhaps the most unlikely defenders of the station were the Gauthi. A newly discovered species, they had only recently invented the steam engine, though they had also largely eliminated war from their planet - not a particularly wise move as it turned out. A delegation of several hundred Gauthi were onboard Dawnwater's edge when the imperium struck, and they were pressed into service for the greater good. The Tau simply hoped they might slow the Imperium down, and this they did. Given pulse rifles with the trigger guards torn off, or even lengths of sharpened pipe, they fought with surprising tenacity. They were descended from ambush predators, and their physiology was well suited to defensive fire fights. They were also strong, courageous and surprisingly hard to kill. Most of the Gauthi died on Dawnwater's edge, but at least one later fought on the surface as part of a pathfinder team.

Gauthi defending a makeshift strong point:

Not bad for the conversion of six monopose prepaints, if do say so myself.

Gauthi pathfinder:

Gauthi stats:
WS 2 BS 2 S 4, T 3, I 2, W 1, Ld 9 6+ armor.
Stubborn, Feel no Pain (5+). Gauthi may fire ranged weapons while pinned or gone to ground, but may not move or assault. Gauthi with spears always strike first in the first round of close combat.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/24 01:03:41

Post by: Captain Brown


Interesting take on another race serving the Greater Good.



The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/24 12:48:27

Post by: kestral

Thanks! I feel like my Xenos so far have been too "nice" for the overall 40K feel, but the last two allied contingents are suitably nasty.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/24 13:08:56

Post by: Kroem

Nice work on the aliens, I like the variety you are getting into the forces.

I feel like I've seen that type of alien somewhere before but can't put my finger on it... how annoying lol.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/02/28 12:45:57

Post by: kestral

Well, I'm sure if you think about it they'll come to mind. : )

Tau Prowler Drone:

The Rinn'va made heavy use of stealthed markerlight platforms, ideally linked with dynamic entry units who would appear suddenly and a launch a devastating markerlight guided attack. In an effort to field as many of these platforms as possible they put into action a number of experimental designs. The prowler was large, wasteful of resources, and limited in its drone intelligence, but none the less saw frequent use.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/01 13:53:48

Post by: Syro_

I really like that Tau Prowler Drone Something about it really appeals to me. Is it scratchbuilt? Also just how big is it?

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/02 00:09:47

Post by: kestral

Thanks - one of my earliest "creative" pieces. Scratch built around a old headphone. It is fairly large - those are devilfish engines on the top and pulse rifles on the bottom. It was meant to represent the forge world tetra. I'll do some better shots with the whole army that will show the scale better at some point.

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Now the second to last Xenos Auxiliary - The Kif.
The Kif are thoroughly nasty pieces of work. Nocturnal liquivores, they strongly prefer to consume only living prey and have two sets of teeth, one for puncturing and another for pulping to extract further nutrients. They have, as far as the water caste has been able to determine, no moral code whatsoever, and no motivation beyond personal power over others and survival. It could, charitably, be said that their sadism and greed are simply extensions of this simple survival drive. None the less, the Water Caste of the Rinn'va were able to extract some benefit from interactions with them, though it always required the most careful negotiations. Attempting to get a Kif to do anything is almost impossible - unless you are another Kif. The Kif Hakkitt (overlords) were more than happy to supply mercenaries in exchange for trade goods. The tau were more than willing to expend them in the defense of Taros. The mercenaries themselves went along - until the calculous of survival shifted. The Kif were skillful, vicious, resourceful fighters... ...until they weren't.

WS 3, BS 3, S 3, T 3, A2 W1 I 4, ld 10, Save 6+

Stealth, Infiltrate, Stubborn, Fleet, Acute Senses, Hit and run, Tank Hunters.
All Kiff attacks (close combat or shooting) will wound on a 6 even if the toughness of the target would normally prevent them from wounding.
A Kif squad is immediately removed from the table (counts as destroyed) if:
They are outnumbered 3 to 1 by enemy models within 12"
They are below half strength and an enemy unit is within 12".
A kiff unit can never be shot at or assaulted by more than one enemy unit per turn - they are just too slippery for that.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/02 19:28:34

Post by: kestral

The last Xenos ally I'm not really sure about - a race of terrible, alien crystal entities housed in flying war machines which spawn hordes of doll sized maniquins. They'd be a chaos breed who were actually laying the ground work for the mutiny. On the other hand, I think they might be too big a departure from the hard, military sci fi we've been going for with Taros -

The Shaltari! I think they look amazing even in 40K games, or at least the big fliers do. Not sure about including the infantry, but I've always thought a tiny, high tech soldier would be deadly. Sure they're only armed with laspistols, but they can fit through a hole a foot high....

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/03 01:49:29

Post by: Syro_

Wow, I agree those do look really cool. What are you thinking of using for the infantry, models from Epic?

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/03 02:48:35

Post by: Captain Brown


Quite the menagerie you have constructed there.



The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/03 20:25:51

Post by: kestral

 Syro_ wrote:
Wow, I agree those do look really cool. What are you thinking of using for the infantry, models from Epic?

Actual Shaltari infantry would be about a foot high in 40K terms. I'd actually like to get their "Ronin" who are about double the size, but we'll see.

The ronin are the second row and would come up to about the waist of a 40K fig.

You're right about the menagerie part Captain - I worry it dilutes the "hard sci fi" nature of Taros, but each auxiliary will probably only appear once or twice in the campaign, so I guess it is OK. I kind of didn't realize how many auxiliaries I'd accumulated over the years. For example there are also these guys:

Growlers - basically Ogryns.

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Probably something like:

WS 4, BS 2, S5 T4 W 3, I 4 A3 Ld 5, Save 6+
Fearless, Fleet, Reroll their run distance, take up 3 spaces on a Transport.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/07 00:38:54

Post by: kestral

We got in a practice game at 1000 points - a clash on some jungle world the Imperium studied to learn about the Rinn'va Sept.
Broke out my tau army and found that unlike some my stuff, they really had aged well. They still need some love here and there, and some bits were "tournament painted", so there is a fair amount of flat black for example. Still, as group I'm really fond of them.

I remember now that I tried to do my FW squads by activity - one squad is all pointing their pulse rifles, one is running, one is just standing around.

Very fond of this Shas'ui.

And Pathfinders! Love those guys.

Even more than I love Hammerheads, and that is saying something. So many happy memories.

Although I dislike miniatures games with counters that clutter the board (I don't even like to have dice on the table if I can avoid it - what is the point of going through so much time and effort to make the game look beautiful, and then dumping crap all over the set up?), I did enjoy making some tau markers.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/07 01:36:51

Post by: Meer_Cat

Super good work- I've always liked Tau and have had to exercise as much control not to leap into them as I've had for exercising control about Bushido! How do you do the joins in the rifles and armor so neatly? Really nice!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/07 16:15:54

Post by: kestral

Thanks! I used a variety of techniques for the armor joints over the years, with varying success - there are others with much cleaner lines than I. I tried flowing ink in using capillary action, black basecoat and then carefully painting up to the edge (the right brush really helps there), and drawing the line in with magic marker.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/07 18:55:42

Post by: Captain Brown

Nice to an older army come out of storage. My Tau have not seen a battle since 6th,



The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/08 21:28:39

Post by: kestral

Nor mine, I don't think. Loved the first Codex. Second Codex (Tau Empire, the one I'm using for Taros) had great rules but lackluster, darker for the sake of darker fluff. After that it was all giant robots and sillieness I wasn't going spring for a $60 book full of.

Our battle was pretty brutal. The tau are just really good tank hunters who match up really well against guard in early editions. We'll need to give some thought to game balance I think.

Using the Ruins and Markerlights, the Hammerheads have the upper hand in the early exchanges.

Until the Vendetta roars on and blows one sky high. Alas, it was taken down by seeker missiles from the pathfinder's devil fish on its next pass. We used the Chapter Approved flyer rules, which are solid IMO.

The Tau tankhunters dropped in with fusion blasters, and though the guard hung on for another two turns, the tainted commander was able to put an end to things.

We're going to do an armored clash with experimental rules next.

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I still have a few Tau experimental units to show -

The Kraken Gunship - a hybrid devilfish/hammerhead that carries 6 troops.
The Sea Horse MultiRole Drone Platform - kind of hard to explain and I still need to do some work on them.
The XV 45 Nighthaunt - a low end cut rate Ghostkeel. I have one painted though I think I will convert it a bit, and one more that I could finish.
Sureeye Monat Snipers.
I'm fighting the urge to build some kind of flyer and get a Ghostkeel. I did just buy a Pirhanna in a moment of weakness.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/09 13:05:57

Post by: Syro_

Thanks for the battle report. I'm looking forward to the tank clash and seeing your experimental units

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/09 14:51:36

Post by: amazingturtles

The seahorse intrigues me and i await it's reveal with... something. Excitment mixed with confusion? Yes.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/09 14:52:11

Post by: kestral

We aim to please. Mostly ourselves, it must be said, but it is great to share with other folks, especially those whose work has inspired us over the years!

Here's a centour - great model, the kind of thing that made forgeworld great, IMO.

And Roughriders! These guys make me want my own cavalry army. They are old figures and not one of GW's more stellar efforts,but still charming. They'll definitely need the Helsmokers to get in range to charge without being mowed down by pulse rifles and burst cannons though.

The Subadar rides a Gene-Steed, and looks the best IMO, though the steed is a bit goofy. Clearly some weird DNA in there.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
 amazingturtles wrote:
The seahorse intrigues me and i await it's reveal with... something. Excitment mixed with confusion? Yes.

That is about how I feel when I look at them....

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/10 15:18:28

Post by: Theophony

Great looking models all around. Love all the auxiliary units you have going on with the growlers, and Star Wars guys. Midget aliens invading 40k.....I’m for it .

The next is not meant as an insult. That gene-steed reminds me of Pokey the Gummi horse, and is great fun. I’d have a hard time not ordering my troops not to shoot at it.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/11 00:59:09

Post by: kestral

Thanks! It is a very weird looking horse.

Here is something kind of Random:

Inspirational Pictures for the Tau Space Station Walls:

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/12 16:18:59

Post by: kestral

Here is the Kracken from my early wargaming phase of "Lets get more guns on this tank!" Does everyone go through that? Anyway, the Kraken was an upgunned Devil Fish, carrying a light rail gun (could not fire sub mutitions) and three Burst cannons, with a capacity to transport 6 fire warriors as well. I think the 4th burst cannon the turret looks sill as is, but I think I will replace it with something else (it is magnetic and the hatch is swappable as well). Compared to the Hammerhead it had only light devilfish armor, but nearly the same firepower.

Random rules aside: I think making the light, broadside type railguns only AP 2 rather than AP 1 (so they don't get the +1 damage roll vs vehicles) would be a good balance item in exchange for a small point cost reduction. It makes no sense that the 5 times larger Hammerhead cannon is no better at tank killing - and in fact worse than a broadside, because it is not twin linked.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/12 17:22:57

Post by: Meer_Cat

"Go through" implies that the "you can't have too much dakka" phase is over.... as I read in a sig file: "If your overwhelming force isn't working, you aren't using enough."

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/13 22:26:46

Post by: kestral

True, true, but looking at it now, it seems like there is nowhere for the rest of the burst cannon to fit next to the hatch. Plus, a different weapon system might be more useful. Maybe Smart Missiles.

Here's my tribute to Fire Warrior, a book that was surprisingly good, given that it was based on a first person shooting game.

Sadly, some rear echelon type neglected to ship her bosom and posterior armor to Taros, so I had to greenstuff it in. Don't get me wrong, I love some warhammer 40K cheese cake, but my Tau are my "hard sci-fi" army, and so I'm sticking with that, at least as far as the Tau themselves go. Just realized I'm talking about "hard Sci Fi" in relationship to a model sitting on a pile of skulls. Weird. Anyway....

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/13 23:11:28

Post by: Meer_Cat

Nice greenstuff work- well done. I know that figure, and you've only added realism to it.

And sitting on a pile of skulls is hard sci-fi compliant: Brian Stableford's Venus series of books comes to mind. This'll look good painted up

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/14 17:59:54

Post by: amazingturtles

That is nice greenstuff work, and personally i prefer, you know, actual armor. So well done.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/15 13:07:05

Post by: kestral

She'll make a good squad leader, though I fear, what with the skulls and all, that she's likely to go over to Chaos during the Mutiny - you kind of get the impression that La'Kase was about to embrace Khorne near the end of the book.

Here's a new faction for the Taros War - the Resistance! I Walker is putting together some miners and such from the Genestealer Cult. Ironically, the same mine owners who were complicit in bringing the Tau to Taros had a change of heart when they discovered their part in the new regime. Together with faithful of the imperial cult, escaped prisoners of war and a few hold outs from the first war, they formed the core of a rebellion that burst into flames with the return of Imperial forces. To emphasize that these are loyalists I added a few purity seals and bits of devotional text.

The Goliath is an amazing kit - perhaps the best vehicle GW has done. There are so many evocative details, like the roll up doors, nice playable features and just general coolness. The Ridgerunner, which I'm painting next, is kind of the poor relation. It borrows the Goliath's elements, but puts them together more awkwardly. Oh well!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/15 23:27:36

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Looks awsome, definitely like the addition of the purity seals. While I really like the ridgerunner I think you're right about the Goliath. I'm sorry about adding the rear facing cage light, I know how much you like painting them but rearward facing lights are so practical. I think maybe I should revise my most practical imperial vehicle stand.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/15 23:33:44

Post by: kestral

I've stopped sweating cage lights - I paint them cloudless blue, wash them with blue ink, call it good.

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I really like that the ridge runner is not HUGE like so many things - both it and the Goliath are well scaled for game play.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/15 23:53:54

Post by: Insurgency Walker

I guess the trend really started with the much maligned Taurox

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The trend of reasonable sized vehicles that is.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/16 00:33:18

Post by: amazingturtles

It's an excellent truck. I want to get one and paint it tonka yellow because it is a tonka truck and that is good and i will have no one deny me.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/16 02:26:30

Post by: kestral

No hate for Tonka here - I have a couple.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/17 01:16:40

Post by: kestral

Here's the Resistance (needs a better name - I think "Insurrection") Ridge runner. Grew on me a bit while I was painting it - using my favorite Thunderhawk blue probably helped. Tomorrow we'll start in on I-Walker's gigantic flyer collection.

The Ridgerunner includes... ...a power shovel. I painted it power weapon blue. Clearly someone left it on.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/17 01:40:54

Post by: amazingturtles

Nice. Power shovels are a great idea. i mean if we can have a setting where people attack each other with chainsaw swords we can have shovels of doom.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/17 02:18:58

Post by: Insurgency Walker

I like how the wheels will tie it in with the other insurrection vehicles. I was impressed with the power shovel

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/17 10:01:36

Post by: mcmattila

Nice work on those GSC vehicles! My view on the models is pretty much opposite to your's, I'm really liking the Ridge Runner, but the truck just doesn't do it for me (though, I've warmed up to it a bit from when I first saw it..). It looks functional, which is a recent trend that I really like, but something about the aesthetic is so toy-like that I'm not a big fan.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/17 12:07:05

Post by: kestral

My issues with the ridgerunner basically come down to two - the fixed heavy stubbers (that's minor really, but they don't seem very useful to a mining scout vehicle, and they clearly look like they are part of the original design, not add ons), and the passenger (?) compartment. The whole thing is 4 feet tall max, but is accessed by a ladder... UNDER the tailgate. It has handgrips for passangers... ...at knee level. Based on that and the wheels being identical to the Goliath only smaller, I wonder if it was simply shrunk down from a larger 3D design? I think the size is perfect, but it may have been conceived as larger. The rear compartment being clearly for Cargo would fix that. Now in fairness, the Goliath's autocannons are awkwardly mounted (they would be better as a pintel mount fired from the observation deck with a gun shield), but they can be justified as a hasty modification.

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Overall though, both vehicles are still quite cool.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/18 11:43:07

Post by: kestral

Some initial test painting of the imperial flyers - Base spray desert yellow, flow Agrax earthshade into the lines and rivits, drybrush with Army Painter "skull" or something like that, turbo fans black, then silver, Balthazar gold (again I think - the reddish, copperish one) over black on metallic engine parts. I-Walker uses a really cool gloss black enamal for flyer optics also.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/25 01:24:03

Post by: Insurgency Walker

I need to stop building things to add to your painting que.

He needed to peddle more than treachery.

odd. Double post

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/25 01:55:46

Post by: kestral

BRILLIANT! He goes to the head of line.

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Is that cart from Wreck-Age?

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I just picked up two US airborne carts that have a somewhat similar vibe. Not sure they'll be pulled by drones though.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/25 16:44:40

Post by: Captain Brown


Nice work on your campaign.

Really liked the details like the inspirational pictures for the Tau space station walls.



The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/25 22:01:12

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Yes. Wreck age carts. I liked the big scary command link drone but couldn't get it to conveniently fit in the yoke I planned on using. This version I bit more organic, just need to add some chains.


The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/26 01:17:13

Post by: Meer_Cat

Cool scene! Very Bladerunner (the real one).

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/26 11:49:49

Post by: kestral

I like the floating drone (second one) a lot.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/26 12:15:33

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Yes, it's what I was going for, I just got hung up on the other drone and magnets were not strong enough to het it hover on the end. The shield drone fits just fine in the yoke.

You can't have a proper Insurrection without exploding markets.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/29 18:04:41

Post by: kestral

*I* was thinking more like "here we see the benevolent melting pot society created by the Tau, soon to be crushed beneath the might of the imperium. Alas, T'ros that might have been...."

Exploding markets is good too, and I was actually thinking it could make a good insurrection ability - you place some bits of terrain, one of which explodes.... Or maybe the carts move around slowly. Before exploding.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/29 22:40:29

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Definitely some of that. I sometimes have visions of the Tau melting pot. Like the gun drone streetlight mock ups.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/03/30 01:20:12

Post by: kestral

I liked those a lot. You should post pics.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/04/01 23:41:57

Post by: kestral

La'Kase is done. She'd make a great fireblade, though they are not in the Codex I'm using for Taros.

Paint job suffers a little when you look at it this close. Also, what is up with the head sculpt from this angle?

The Return to Taros @ 2019/04/02 00:58:47

Post by: Insurgency Walker

That's a long necked Tau chick. I'll also bet some camera chip magic made her ear disappear, or maybe she doesn't have one to begin with. I imagine a skull pile like that has a hefty cost.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/04/05 20:50:11

Post by: kestral

Hmmm, good point. Maybe I should paint scar tissue on one side of the head. Might redo the eyes too.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/04/05 21:16:47

Post by: shasolenzabi

All looking great Kestrel! T'ros is a good little setting to play with.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/04/06 01:02:33

Post by: kestral

Thanks! I worry that I'm drifting away from the hard sci fi, down to "earth", minimalist nature of the original book that made it so cool, but so it goes.

I've decided that April is Airpower month, and My goal will be get as many fliers and my X -wing to 40K rules set done.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/04/12 22:05:08

Post by: kestral

Working a bit on some Tau stuff, but here is a Map I made for the Taros Campaing.

Gotta figure out how to enlarge it.

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Lets see how this looks:

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The Tau had not been idle on Taros. Though the planet remained mostly a desert dotted by a few mining operations, they had increased the population by more than 50% and engaged in numerous development projects. They had added a rail system, though this would be of little help to the Imperium unless Tau rail vehicles could be captured. They had deliberately avoided road development to facilitate control and defense of Taros. Imperial Tactitica Studies identified the following key locations:

Tarokeen - the original capital, Tarokeen remained the heart of Taros, home to much of the population, little changed from its imperial days.

Dawnwater's edge - the Beanstalk and the Tau's primary means on and off the planet.

Rinn'Vos or sometimes Ta'Rinn - the new capital and adminstrative center, located on a highly defensible penninsula.

Hydro Processing plants - adapted and updated by the Tau, these remained critical to the viability of the planet, located primarily on the opposit side of the Ithmus from Tarokeen.

Downfall - site of the original landing and evacuation, this represented a secondary landing field and was symbolically important.

Manufactorums - the Tau, no strangers to the brutality of interstellar war by this time had placed their industry in cave networks in the mountanous south, well shielded from orbital bombardment. This manufacuring ability would provide them with a key advantage in the coming conflict unless the Imperium could neutralize it. On the other hand, it was distant from their core population centers, which might prove an issue.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/04/13 16:17:24

Post by: kestral

Painted an e-bay rescue Pirhanna. I had planned to have only one, but I got a second as a gift, so it looks like this excellent tau vehicle will see more action on Taros than expected!

Hard pressed in the face of Imperial air superority, the Tau desperately turned to the versatile Pirhanna for reconnaissance, tank hunting, and even attempting to intercept Valkyrie flights. The Pirhanna crews answered the call with supreme gallantry, and many paid the ultimate price. No speciality had a higher casualty rate. The Pirhanna remained in production on Taros throughout most of the war and was a staple of the Tau defense.

I'll add some waterslide transfers when the other one is done.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/04/13 16:32:57

Post by: Flapjack

That piranha is looking great, just like the rest of it. How did you achieve the white?

The Return to Taros @ 2019/04/14 10:21:59

Post by: kestral

Thanks! The white is... ...interesting. I tried painting the panel lines in black on the bare plastic and then spraying it with a very light grey spray paint - on the theory that the spray paint wouldn't penetrate and they would still be black after coating. That didn't work. So I did my usual flowing Nuln oil into the cracks and wiping away the excess. Then I did a pretty crappy white edge highlight. I'll do better on the one I'm building up myself. I did like the overall effect though - a bit dirty and worn. It would also be a nice Marble effect if you used that light grey spray over black with a white dry brush I think.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/04/15 00:45:05

Post by: kestral

Idea to save:

Simple Tau monorail - pvc with windows hanging from an overhead rail system made from plastic. I think I could build the whole thing using my clip together plastic system, use paper printiouts for the limited detailing on the cars. Very functional, simple, durable. Each car has its own power supply.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/04/19 20:41:58

Post by: kestral

The tools with which I'll be doing the next Tau Conversion:

And the Drone Carts WIP. Red is doing his best to avoid trouble by showing both loyalist Blue and insurrection Crimson.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/04/20 00:43:08

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Nice dual color scheme. For then the side you chose is your own.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/05/02 00:02:45

Post by: kestral

Air Power April has mostly been grounded - but here are some drone carts!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/05/02 00:06:23

Post by: Meer_Cat

_Love_ the drone carts- really imaginative and well executed!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/05/05 18:59:53

Post by: kestral

All credit to I-Walker, really.

Meanwhile, the Tau War industry ramps up!

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May is too busy, but in June I'm going to get on the Tau Buildings hopefully.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/05/06 01:01:20

Post by: Syro_

Looks like another great use of everyday objects as bits. I'm looking forward to seeing these as they progress

The Return to Taros @ 2019/05/10 10:38:59

Post by: kestral

The Return to Taros @ 2019/05/10 22:47:18

Post by: kestral

There isn't much I love more than scratch building an army up to strength in preparation for some great games.

Incidentally, in the background can be seen the Hairbrush my space marine army color scheme is based on. No lie.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/05/11 01:33:34

Post by: amazingturtles

It's a good color scheme! I got a color scheme once from a travel mug

The Return to Taros @ 2019/05/19 11:11:03

Post by: kestral

Just like I keep an eye out for scratch building bits, I'm always on the look out for color combos.

Imperial Air Power in Progress:

The Return to Taros @ 2019/05/19 13:55:33

Post by: Flapjack

Cool stuff, I like the highlighting. A vulture I believe?

The Return to Taros @ 2019/05/19 18:43:26

Post by: gobert

Nice looking to vulture (?). The Tau flossing (that is what they’re made from right?) drones are shaping nicely too. Looks like you guys have an epic campaign in the making

The Return to Taros @ 2019/05/21 01:06:17

Post by: kestral

Yup, Vulture and Flossing Thingies.

Here's a WIP on the cockpit - the pilots are not fully painted yet. I'm trying to figure out how to the flying tiger shark teeth on the nose.

I'm determined to make it work, but I'm not sure about the fit.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/05/25 12:07:58

Post by: kestral

Karnadon! Or Carchadon? There is probably a 40K waterslide transfer that says that.

I was anxious about how the nose art would come out, but I'm very happy with that. Could use a little touch up, and of course I have to paint the other side.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/05/25 17:58:32

Post by: Flapjack

Very nice freehand there. I especially like the eye.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/05/25 20:26:06

Post by: The Riddle of Steel

Really great stuff you have going here. I’m also a fan of Taros and have my own drop troopers army that I’m starting. I use the Taros book rules for my guys in our Horus Heresy campaign. And we have played a few of the missions in our campaigns with other armies because neither my brother nor I have any Tau. That book has so much flavor. I love what you are doing with it so far. Keep it up.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/06/07 01:24:20

Post by: kestral

Thanks - The eye didn't come out quite as well on the other side, but I do like it.

I loved the portrayal of the drop troops part of the war in the Taros book - although I always thought it was a little odd that the Tau could simply destroy the pumping station with heavy firepower - I suppose they weren't really too concerned about the civilian water supply.

Sadly, disaster has struck. I got up early Sunday, thinking I would finish the Vulture. I discovered that the cat had sat on the box, breaking the rear landing gear. I repaired those, but in the process one of the punishers snapped in half - the middle was basically one big bubble. Plowing through that I admired the product and thought I would try to clean up some superglue I had gotten on the canopy. After a bit of internet research, I tried to remove it with... nail polish remover.

Terrible mistake. It fogged all the windows. I had been reading on a Model airplane site - and their canopies are GLASS.


I'm going to redo the whole stupid thing because I happen to have another set of clear canopy pieces.

Hopefully the next flyer, an Arvus, will go better!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/06/07 23:54:27

Post by: The Riddle of Steel

Oh man, that is too bad about the unlucky streak. I have heard a lot of stories of canopy glass fails so you are definitely not alone and luck you have a replacement. Bad things come in threes so hopefully you are done with the bad mojo for a while.

I am definitely excited to see the Arvus come together. I'd love to get one for myself eventually, but I paint at a glacial speed and I have a long list to get to before that. So I will just have to live through yours for now! Looking forward to it.


The Return to Taros @ 2019/06/12 11:46:12

Post by: kestral

Well, I seem to have made it through. The "Ill Omen" (or maybe "Misfortune") is on in a box, in a closed case, awaiting return to its army.

Here is what I was trying to fix:

Here's what I did:

Here it is with the canopy ripped off and replaced:

I tried to apply the wisdom of Briancj and looked at it from 20 feet away to see if I could still see the gaps around the canopy, but I could from across the room. Stupid keen eyesight.

Greenstuffed it, and the Dragon of Taros, temperamental evil tempered beast that it is, is ready to hammer the unfortunate Tau.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/06/12 14:24:06

Post by: amazingturtles

Man, that was a tough setback but you recovered it very nicely!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/06/13 02:05:08

Post by: The Riddle of Steel

The Dragon turned out great. Good recovery. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next.


The Return to Taros @ 2019/06/13 04:16:34

Post by: Briancj


That is awful, and I've been there. IN FUTURE (and feel free to practice this on your fogged canopies!)

Take ultra-fine sandpaper, and sand the clear plastic. I find a dry sand, followed by a wet sand works well here, you should only need to sand the outside, unless the glue/goo got to the inside. Clean with a soft cloth, and let them fully dry.

Then, apply clear GLOSS varnish to the clear plastic.


The Return to Taros @ 2019/06/14 16:05:32

Post by: kestral

Thanks! I will give that a shot, since I do hope to use the damaged canopy in some way. If I can actually restore it that would be ideal, I was thinking I'd just paint it back and stick it on a hard luck Valk I got for free.

Does anyone know if getting a speciality set of sanding papers is worth it? Saw some in action for model cars and wasn't all that impressed, but I could be wrong.

And now: Enter the Arvus!

Should I try to do re-entry scorch marks on it?

The Return to Taros @ 2019/06/14 18:29:11

Post by: Briancj

A packet of model sanding paper is cheap, and worth it for projects like these. Being able to ultra-smooth sand/surface prep is great, and can really help with sticky/problem decal applications.

I have a pair of Arvus (Arvii?) and I also ponder the landing scorches. No opinion either way, as of yet.


The Return to Taros @ 2019/06/14 23:18:05

Post by: kestral

Definitely Arvii. I'll see about the sanding paper then. I'm trying to focus on better quality tools and materials over more figures, so that fits. : )

In the meantime I got given some Cadians for the price of shipping, and so I'm doing some up desert style to put more imperial boots on the ground on Taros. I-walker runs mostly tanks, but you never know. Not my assembly, and I got some free labor of varying quality while teaching some basic painting techniques on these.

78th Raganii Fusiliers. I think I will convert them up a bag piper, but otherwise leave them stock. One of the many, many Cadian pattern infantry regiments of the Imperium. I'm going to do a platoon's worth painted to a vague tabletop quality.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/06/15 00:06:46

Post by: Insurgency Walker

I have some ultra fine sanding films. They work great when I bother to use them. They are plastic, and are good for wet sanding.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/06/15 13:18:09

Post by: kestral

I hear ya. Usually any cleanup I need to do can be done with a knife, but one can always try to get better.

It occurs to me that we haven't shown these yet:

Helstrom Veteran Squad:

Hmm, there were 3-4 more, but I can't seem to find a picture of them.

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There is a Tau type terrain 3-D print files kickstarter up. Not really worth it for me, but good for inspiration!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/06/16 23:50:26

Post by: The Riddle of Steel

I love the Arvus. Looking forward to seeing yours complete. And that’s a unique veteran squad. It has a lot of character and fits the desert theme.


The Return to Taros @ 2019/06/17 01:51:10

Post by: kestral

Thanks! The full squad is really cool - I walker had most of the original last chancers mixed with some other classic metals.

Idea to save for Terrain: Tau sand farm. Using a series of nets/charged plates/technowhatsits, blowing sand is sorted grain by grain into patches of different colored sand of different composition.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/06/19 15:42:20

Post by: kestral

Arvus is done!

Here's a WIP shot. I used a larger brush for a heavier shading (which looks kind of crappy), but then tightened it up by painting in more desert yellow. The drybrush also helps a lot.

Here it is finished. I enjoyed it, and commend Forge world for producing such an evocative model that helps complete the 40K setting. Oddly, it seems to have a great deal of sensors and optics, which I suppose makes sense for an orbital shuttle - why wouldn't you use for recon of you had space superiority?

For whatever reason the Khorne red looks very pink in these pictures. It really isn't. Sticking a big chunk of resin up on a flying stand does feel a bit risky

Here is the underside, for when it is lying crashed in the desert after the Tau have shot it down!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/06/19 15:55:38

Post by: Briancj

I really do love this model, and the older Aquila Lander. I wish we could see more of the 'non-combat' models, shuttles and the like, from the 40K universe.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/06/20 00:36:02

Post by: Meer_Cat

Really like how the weathering around the panel lines came out- that's the look I've wanted for my own vehicles for some time- will have to try to emulate!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/06/20 01:22:40

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Must admit the drop tank sensor pod is a scratch build. However even the chin has a pretty good assortment of sensors. I always figured it would make a fine ELINT platform.
Hence the drop tank mod.
It is a ubiquitous imperial aircraft with space capability.

Just what is Col. Helstrom up to using such an advanced upgrade while performing liaison duties?

The Return to Taros @ 2019/06/20 23:42:56

Post by: The Riddle of Steel

Looking really nice, Kestral!

I definitely need one of those. It can add so much story and character to a campaign.


The Return to Taros @ 2019/06/21 17:56:45

Post by: Captain Brown

Nice Arvus lighter there kestral.



The Return to Taros @ 2019/06/22 22:12:12

Post by: Syro_

@Briancj: I'm with you on needing more non-combat models. I want those too. They really help tell a story on the table.

Arvus looks great kestral, I also like the sand farm idea you wrote about. Ambye have a big electro magnet for separating out all the iron particles?

The Return to Taros @ 2019/06/26 13:32:20

Post by: kestral

Thanks folks!

I read an interesting piece that the reason places like our Moon will never really be great mining resources is that they lack any kind of sorting - sure the minerals are there, but without water and tectonic processes, it is all evenly distributed and thus relatively useless from an economical harvesting perspective. On the other hand, if you have a bunch of sand blowing around, and a way of extracting just the grains you want (like an Electromagnet), that seems very economical.

In other news, we've decided to Roll the campaign, even if not everything is perfect, because, well everything will never be perfect, and neither of us is getting any younger.

Which makes my to-do list something like this:

First Game: Battle Fleet Gothic
1x Rogue Trader
1x Kiff Raider
1x Tau Space Station
Seems pretty doable in 2 weeks.

Second Game: Battle for the Dawnwaters Edge:
Breaching Team
Rogue Trader Shuttle.

Doable for a Month out.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/06/26 14:03:02

Post by: Briancj

I'm in, where do I drive?


The Return to Taros @ 2019/06/27 14:14:29

Post by: kestral

Lol. Pm sent

The Return to Taros @ 2019/06/27 14:16:04

Post by: Syro_

This campaign sounds really fun, I love that you are doing a cross platform story. That's something that I've always wanted to try.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/01 02:04:57

Post by: kestral

Looks like Brain CJ will be involved, which is awesome! He has Admech, IG, and Minotaurs, which will nicely broaden the imperial forces available. I-Walker is also going to include some Rogue Trader elements, which will add further variety on the Imperial side. The Tau are sure to be hard pressed. Here's some fluff!

The Rinn'va sept was pleased with their Taros project - a new world was being developed, and if there were occasional problems with the Imperial Cult, resentment among the conquered Ge'ula, supply struggles, terraforming setbacks, and the like, they were not unexpected or unmanageable. The disappearance of one collaborator, even an important one, was barely a footnote.

Nymus Dree and a small band of companions, veterans of the 2nd Taros intervention, were smuggled off Taros by a tramp freighter, the Toujours L'Audace. They paid their way with stolen gems from the mine workings, and were handed off through successively more reputable traders, until they arrived at Kota 5, sub sector Capital of Uleth .

Nymus Dree took his information to the imperial authorities immediately. This was the moment of greatest danger for his enterprise, for there was every chance that he would simply be executed out of hand, sent to a prison planet, or left to rot in a local cell. However, if Dree knew anything, it was how to navigate the Bureaucracy. Within a month he was in contact with the many branches of the Imperium's power structure. He was an imperial Provisioner after all, and the defeat on Tauros was recent, and a blemish on the honor of the Imperium. With luck, skill, and faith, Dree set in motion a Third Taros intervention.

Although Dree would continue to play a role in what had become his life's work, greater than he would now have the Honor of leading the endeavor. There was much discussion, but eventually the sector authorities decided to appoint a Sky Marshal. A rank sometimes seen on the Eastern Fringe, a Sky Marshal was not directly associated with one service, often drawn from high ranking planetary nobility rather than imperial guard officers. Proclamations were made, and suitable candidates put themselves forward, but one student out above all others - Rogue Tracer Elucia Vhane. Rogue traders had been Sky Marshals before, and Vhane, at this time over 400 years old, had a formidable reputation. She would bring with her ships and fighting forces, and it was felt that she would have the flexibility to deal with complex situation such as the reconquest of a world partially developed by the Tau. Her charter would give her political cover to preserve anything of value on Taros, rather than simply purging the Xenos, and powerful interests smelled a profit in this.

Chronicler's Note: The Third Taros Intervention takes place well before the return of the Primarchs, great rift, Rogue Trader Kill team happenings, and other events of "8th Edition".

Imperial Guard Regiments would be mustered, but this was not Vhane's immediate concern. The Administratum and Munitorium would see to that. She did note that Lord Commissar Von Horric, now a legend for his execution of much of the command staff at the end of the 2nd Taros intervention would once more be serving the Emperor on Taros. That was good, in that it would focus the minds of officers on the ground, but also bad, in that other officers might do their best to avoid serving along side such an uncompromising commissar. Sky Marshal Vhane was not unduly concerned. To her the Imperial Guard were a hammer, and precise aim was not required.

Vhane would not command ground forces directly, but would be responsible for mustering and commanding the invasion overall. In particular, she would need to seek aid from the Imperium's independent allies - the Mechanicus and the Space Marines. She summoned Dree, and after long conversation aboard her Flagship, the New Dawn, she formulated a course of action. The mechanicus would not be difficult to rouse - Dree had compiled evidence of gruesome tech heresies committed by the inquisitive and inventive Rinn'va on Taros, and beyond that the Rinn'va had a considerable interest in STC technology, and Dree made it seem very likely that they possessed information on undiscovered Standard Template Constructs. The Mechanicus pledged aid at once.

Space Marines were a trickier matter. The obvious choice was the Emperor's Scyths, eager for vengeance after their losses in the First Taros intervention, but they were engaged elsewhere. The Kestrals, a chapter with a long association with Rogue Traders were another possibility, but they were unenthusiastic about fighting the Tau, whom they, like the Ultramarines, saw as a low priority and even occasional ally.

How Vhane and Dree induced the Minotaurs to participate can be told by Briancj, or it can remain a mystery.....

Here's what I propose,subject to input of course.

Taros Order of Battle
Tau and Auxiliaries (Kestral) VS Imperial Guard, Rogue Traders (Insurgency Walker) and Imperial Guard, Admech, and Minotaurs (Brian CJ). In the event that Kestral is called away, the imperial forces will have a "Training Exercise" or "Inter-service Dispute". In the event that one imperial player is unavailable, the other will face off against the Tau. It is possible other players might appear in an allied role, but the overall campaign will be Tau vs Imperium, at least until the Mutiny, when chaos may become a wild card factor. In general, other factions are unlikely, though not absolutely ruled out.

Scenario Design will alternate between sides, Kestral will design the first one, I-Walker the second.

Mostly Warhammer 40K 5th edition, unmodified basic rules, except POSSIBLY a tweak to the vehicle damage table. Players can use whatever codex they like (between 3rd and 7th ed at least), and can even mix and match units within reason, or design entirely new units. The one caveat to this is that the opponent(s) get to overule the points costs if they wish. Guard will probably use 5th Ed. Codex, but be able to purchase the 4th ed codex doctrines. This should give them an edge in what is generally a difficult match up. It is perfectly acceptable to write up rules for units not included in a codex and post them here, as long as decent models are available. Pictures are encouraged. : )

We will need to decide what flyer rules will be used, since 5E does not include in them.

Other game systems like Battle Fleet Gothic, Aeronautica Imperialis, Double Eagle or Strikepoint or Kill Team may be used for specific purposes.

The one caveat is that the rules a player is going to use for their forces in a scenario need to be stated in writing IN Advance, and a player needs to have those rules on hand. : ) This can be as simple as "I'm going to use the rules in IA Vol 2 for X". This can be changed between scenarios. This should allow for a good mix of fluffy and cool yet clear cut and competitive game play.

There is no advancement, casualty tracking, etc. A player decided when/if their characters are killed for story purposes, and when they "have a close call".

This is very much an artistic/nostalgic campaign - Painted figures, while not absolutely required, are STRONGLY encouraged. I'll do my best to put together decent terrain as needed. The campaign will go on until the story is told, with players agreeing on the overall course of it and alternating writing the outcome of each battle.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
How does that look?

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/01 02:54:55

Post by: The Riddle of Steel

I think the campaign concepts should work well. That is fairly similar to how my brother and I are running ours with things like agreeing on the story progression to link the battles and deciding if characters die or not after dying in a battle, mostly based on what feels right and what advances the story. This sounds exciting. I wish you luck with the campaign!


The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/01 05:38:33

Post by: Briancj

Solid work, no problems on my end.

I will note the current Minotaurs story/fluff are of questionable [Lords of Terra's personal Marine Chapter] origins, and were my "Badab War" army, and used at Adepticon with the Wardens (Gitsplitta, Solar_Lion, and company). My Adeptus Mechanicus can be regular OR dark, as well. BOTH of these forces (Mins and Mech) can be "anti-Imperium" as they have their own (shady) reasons for being here above and beyond 'fighting Tau'.

Fliers in 5th ed aren't truly necessary, they were just fancy skimmers with fancy bases until 6th ed. I can't remember if the IA books added "Flyer" rules to 5th, but I don't NEED to fly my Avenger Strike Fighters...

BFG-wise I have Eldar (BB, Cruisers, Escorts) and Ork (Space Hulk, BB, Kroozers, some Escorts), some Imperial and Chaos (cruisers only, one Imperial Battleship), a Blackstone Fortress, a Ramilies Class Star Fort, and a Planet Killer.

For story/missions I have a Fortress of Redemption (Modified to be for AdMech), two Sky Talons, some Munitorum Containers, and a handful of 'civilian' vehicles. One Necron Monolith. And two Arvus Lighters and an Aquila Lander (non-crashed!). These are for my Rogue Trader/AdMech forces, but are great story props. GET TO DA LANDA.

Oh, and an Ordinatus Golgoltha. You know, for the lulz.


So, in the end, it comes down to what you want your Tau to fight. I can do Footslogging Guard, Artillery Guard, MBT Guard, Air Cav Guard, regular Cav Guard... Anything Space Marine (boy howdy) [Minotaurs were designed around the Blood Angels Codex, but could also use Dark Angels], some gloriously weird AdMech (Could use the Chaos codex, could use the Grey Knights codex).

Oh, and a pile of Orks, but they were designed around Fliers and DeathKoptas, alas.

Let me know where you want me to go, and I'll go there.



The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/01 20:53:04

Post by: kestral

Ordinatus Golgotha?!!!!!

Sweet Merciful Emperor! This one?

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/01 20:59:46

Post by: Briancj

Why, yes. That one.


The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/01 23:57:34

Post by: Insurgency Walker

I must admit that when building an army the first thing I think of is "what do I want to push around the table" or " what do I want to see blow up" or sometimes even what will blow up some unit I want to see blown up. Now I can understand not wanting to pack up and travel with that, but the ah.....Ordinatus Golgotha is a thing of beauty. In fact you have a lot of cool stuff that could certainly get some table time in as more than just scenery. For example your Sky Talon container transport.
As a side note, the wargames exclusive cars fit the stock Sky Talon. !

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/02 01:39:23

Post by: kestral

I have the initial battle somewhat framed in my mind - it involves a lot of shuttles, at least for the Imperium.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
Details tomorrow I think.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/02 03:10:44

Post by: Briancj

 Insurgency Walker wrote:
Now I can understand not wanting to pack up and travel with that, but the ah.....Ordinatus Golgotha is a thing of beauty.

Why thank you.

It breaks down into multiple parts, as it was designed for travel. It was one of my Adepticon Army Board pieces as part of The Wardens team.


The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/03 01:43:47

Post by: kestral


Well, here is my thinking for the opening of the Taros Campaign.

The tramp freighter Quasimodo was one of several human vessels that called infrequently at Taros as part of the Rinn'va's efforts to promote the Greater Good. Such vessels were part of a black market between human fringe worlds and the Tau, and while they constituted a security risk, the risk was considered to be acceptable, particularly as they furnished valuable intelligence. At first such ships had conducted trade in neutral systems, then further out in the Taros System, then in time at the space station Dawnwater's Edge after a rigorous security protocol. That protocol was underway now as the battlecruiser La'hus'rall, pride of the Rinn'va, moved in close to conduct a scan and boarding. Her shields were up and weapons charged, but no one expected any trouble. Quasimodo's captain was on screen and the Tau water caste thought they understood him well.

Without warning, Quasimodo's engines flared to full power as smaller ships spilled from her belly and the Captain shouted something about life pods and fled his bridge. A steely eyed human stepped from behind a console and took the helm brandishing some sort of religious icon. Desperately the La'hus'rall sought to maneuver, but the tramp freighter bore down inexorably. Collision alarms sounded, and the smaller ship struck near the bow and tore along the port side, opening an enormous gash, then exploded.

The Rinn'va had used fire ships and Q ships themselves in the past, but the tech used this time was beyond them and undetectable. Tau analysts would later note that no life pods launched successfully from the Quasimodo for reasons unknown.

Crippled, her back broken, the La'hus'rall drifted into a lower, decaying orbit that would eventually see her crash onto Taros in several weeks. All Taros went to full alert. The jettisoned small craft lit their engines and began to make their descent. Several were damaged during their sudden launch and crashed, while others suffered navigation errors or re-entry faults and made emergency landings in the desert. Others however flew true and peeled off on their assigned missions. Tau interceptors would claim several kills and scatter other flights, but some made it through to their targets, albeit in disordered formations.

Those targets were chosen to weaken the Tau air arm. The Rinn'va had prepared well, building on the airbases created during the first Taros war. They were well hidden, dispersed, and hardened, relatively safe from anything short of planet wrecking bombardment. But there were other targets - most notably Installation 6B, a Tau Auspex base in the Phyrea Heights. Without it the Tau would be largely blind in the coming air war.

How the Imperium knew of Installation 6B was a mystery to the Tau, but it had to be held. The security force assigned to it in peacetime would struggle to hold it against a determined attack, but the Imperium's bold assault had failed in one respect - the one in a hundred chance that a hunter cadre would be on maneuvers nearby. Shas'vre Inas'la reacted instantly, her cadre mounting up in minutes and racing for Installation 6B as soon as it was clear no orbital bombardment was incoming. At the same time deep space Auspex detected multiple starships entering the system. Taros braced itself for war.

Tentative Scenario Detail

Table Set up:
4x8 Table.
Canyon/Mesa terrain with some Tau Installations for flyers to zoom around. The objectives are 3 hardened "pop" up sensor silos.

Imperial 2 player forces:
Each Imperial player commands 1,000 points of Imperial Guard or Mechanicus. Space Marines are too precious for their commander to risk them on a mission with so many random factors. All imperial troops must either be flyers or mounted in flyers. 1 HQ max per player, no other force org restrictions. Only infantry will be able to capture objectives. Flyers are not treated as dedicated transports and may transport any unit.

Imperial forces enter from a short table edge of their choice. Half the Imperium's flyers, chosen at random, enter on turn 1, the rest are placed in reserve.

Tau forces:
Tau forces consist of a 500 point security detachment - 1 HQ, 2+ Troops, no more than one of any other choice. They deploy on the table at the game start. Cadre Inas'la is 1000 points and begins in reserve. All units must have jump packs or be mounted in devilfish. Devilfish may be purchased without using a force org slot and may transport Kroot and Auxiliaries. Tau installations include 3 hardened (armor 14) bunkers.

In addition I will set up a battle fleet gothic game to fill any remaining time and represent the battle in orbit. I have or will have the figures for that and will choose the forces and will give some thought to alternative scenarios if someone is missing.

How does that look?

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/03 01:53:38

Post by: Briancj

SOLID. I'm on it.

Let me know if you need any BFG, etc. etc.


Quick questions:

What about units capable of deep striking, but are NOT Flyers?

And what about my dear friend, Sly Marbo, infiltrator extraordinaire?

Is the 1 HQ a requirement, or is it 0-1 HQ?


The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/03 05:00:08

Post by: posermcbogus

I have been sneakily reading this thread all day at work...

Astonishing work! The attention to lore, odd background characters and setting are all really excellent! You've done some really fantastic work, and the various modelling flourishes are outstanding.

But I have to say, my favorite BY FAR are the tau auxilaries! Such an under-explored bit of setting that really fits! I wish there was a box of Tau-aligned alien bounty-hunters like yours! The SW Cantina guys and the bug-and-jetpack-shark(?) duo are absolutely delightful! Subbed!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/03 10:33:37

Post by: kestral

 Briancj wrote:
SOLID. I'm on it.

Let me know if you need any BFG, etc. etc.


Quick questions:

What about units capable of deep striking, but are NOT Flyers?

And what about my dear friend, Sly Marbo, infiltrator extraordinaire?

Is the 1 HQ a requirement, or is it 0-1 HQ?

Well, flyers are the theme. In theory a deepstriking squad could have jumped from one passing over though, so that works. Admech has tech superpowers, so if you can justify them somehow warping in that is totally cool. With the large table and relatively few units the Imperium will want all the mobility they can get though I would expect. Sly could either be an Insurrection fighter who turned up after living on protein cubes for 6 months outside Installation 6B, or we could give him special rules allowing him to leap from a flyer in mid move, land unerringly, and plunge into assault, whichever works better for fluff/fun/model. 0-1 HQ. My scenario writing skills are rusty. : )

I think the game might also get an extra turn or two of game length. Let me think on that.

You wouldn't happen to have any Rogue Trader BFG or fighters among your Imperial collection? I imagine the BFG game involving the New Dawn as a Rogue Trader cruiser attacking the limited forces the Tau have remaining after the Quasimodo took out their flagship . If you have a Minotaurs BFG they would logically be involved.

The way I imagined the scenario development system working, each side would write a bit of fluff from their perspective which would be taken into account in the finalized scenario.

We'll need to figure out some flyer rules. I have some ideas, as always when it comes to rules. Not saying they are *good ideas* necessarily. : ) Worst case though they can be assumed to be hovering at low level in this game and just act as fast skimmers as you suggested.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
 posermcbogus wrote:
I have been sneakily reading this thread all day at work...

Astonishing work! The attention to lore, odd background characters and setting are all really excellent! You've done some really fantastic work, and the various modelling flourishes are outstanding.

But I have to say, my favorite BY FAR are the tau auxilaries! Such an under-explored bit of setting that really fits! I wish there was a box of Tau-aligned alien bounty-hunters like yours! The SW Cantina guys and the bug-and-jetpack-shark(?) duo are absolutely delightful! Subbed!

Thanks! I'm looking forward to unleashing those two psychopaths on the Imperium. Did I mention the bug has a Refractor Field? I agree - GW is missing the boat not exploring that aspect of the Tau more.

Here's the start of Installation 6B:

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/03 14:07:45

Post by: Briancj

Well, I've codified my list, and went with the original restrictions, otherwise I'd just dive too far into outflanking shenanigans, etc.

As for Flyers rules, Imperial Armour Volume 1 has you covered!

Note: I am only bringing stuff from the 5th Ed IG codex, so I have no need for the IA rules in my list.

Alas, I have no Space Marine or RT/Civilian vessels anymore, and none of the various fighter-craft minis.


The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/03 17:37:08

Post by: Syro_

This is such a great campaign, I really enjoyed reading the fluff at the bottom of page 6. This seems like it's going to be a blast to play, I hope you have a lot of fun playing.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/05 16:53:41

Post by: kestral

Syro - Thanks! Very much Dakka inspired really.

Brian - Do you have IA vol 1 for the flyer Rules? I bet they are the same as in my Chapter Approved, since they are from the same era.

No need to make lists public in advance I think, though it would be cool to see some pictures/Regimental fluff.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/06 01:46:27

Post by: Insurgency Walker

I have the IA flyer rules when needed.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/06 05:01:06

Post by: kestral

Are they the "zoom on, zoom off" rules?

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/06 14:24:02

Post by: Briancj

Here ya go!



The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/08 13:40:59

Post by: kestral


Alright, bit of a modification here -

I don't think I'm going to be able to pull together the Battle Fleet Gothic scenario - I'd need to do more modeling than I think I can get done without stress, which kind of defeats the point of hobby fun. I also think I'd struggle to get the ships figured out and the rules reviewed in time. I'll absolutely do it in the future though, and it would link really well with the space station assault. Also, doing only 40K ground means I don't need two tables, which is a bit easier. Finally, I think having the second game be a more standard 40k game would be healthy. The first scenario will hopefully be great fun, but being rather experimental it might be lopsided or bog down.

So how about this for the second game:

The daring imperial assault force (or one of the other units in the first wave, if the attackers on Installation 6B were wiped out) are making their last stand against a planet's worth of Tau. But with Imperial ships in orbit, help is at hand! Can they hold out?

Two 750 point armies. One of these (presumably Brian's) may include Space Marines, Imperial Guard, or Both. Each should include only infantry and vehicles that could reasonably be dropped or air lifted in.
Each imperial force may include no more than 1 flyer, which is purchased for half points, as it is almost out of fuel. The flyer may move for no more than two turns in hover mode, or one turn in full flight. The rest of the time it is "landed" on the table and may fire only pivoting or turreted weapons, not fixed wing mounts or the like/

1500 point standard force org chart.

Diagonal deployment. This is a fight to the finish - the victor is the army that destroys more of the enemy (by VPs). No game length - the battle continues until time is up or one side is wiped out/concedes!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/08 14:28:46

Post by: Briancj

How many games are we trying to play each day?


The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/08 16:01:55

Post by: kestral

Well, at least 1. But if time allows 2.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/08 19:02:07

Post by: Briancj

I am not sure if I'll have all my figs painted for Thursday, but there will be SOME paint on every one!


The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/08 23:38:25

Post by: Insurgency Walker

 Briancj wrote:
I am not sure if I'll have all my figs painted for Thursday, but there will be SOME paint on every one!


Don't worry, you will be in good company with my usual lack of fine attire.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/09 00:29:05

Post by: kestral

Well, Forge World did all their Taros pictures in black and white for a reason. : ) Keep it fun!

I've assembled the basic topography of the table with cloth, styrofoam, screw guns, plywood, rocks and so on and should have it fully set up tomorrow night, so I'll post some targeting scans from the Inbound Imperial flyers.

Tonight I'm going to see if I can get all the Tau rules sorted, plus do my Army Lists. I want to get everything written down and printed to avoid confusion and having to pour over Dakka posts during a game.

I-Walker is going to bring his Tau Car, to give the defenders of Installation 6B something to ride around in.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/09 01:04:41

Post by: Meer_Cat

I don't know the GW range of Tau vehicles- is that a scratch build? If so, what a terrific job! Very realistic (within the construct of what Tau stuff looks like) and very believable in the game milieu. Me likey!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/09 01:52:01

Post by: kestral

I *think* it is from Wargames exclusive. It fits up to 4 drones, which is pretty cool.

I'm going to use Codex Tau Empire (2005) for my Tau, with the following new/modified units:

Geu'la Auxiliaries:

Geu’la Team

Recruited from the most promising converts to the Greater Good, including in some cases former prisoners of war, Geu’la teams were the only Auxiliaries other than Kroot included in Hunter Cadre Formations in the early war, and were also often used for Garrison duty and static defense. Although quality was uneven, some fought extremely well for their new masters. Ideally they combined the strengths of the Imperial Guard with the advanced technology and teamwork of the Tau. In practice they were sometimes no more than cannon fodder.

A Geu’la team consists of 5-20 Geu’la and is a Troops Choice.

WS 3, BS 3, S 3, T3, I3, W1, A1, Ld 7
4 Points per model.
Armed with a Lasgun.
All may be given flak armor (5+ save) for one point per model.
All may take Photon grenades for 1 point per model, and/or EMP grenades for 2 points per model.
Any model may replace their lasgun with a laspistol and close combat weapon or shotgun for 1 point per model.
One Geu’la may be upgraded to a Champion of the Greater Good for +5 Points. They have 2 attacks and BS4. The Champion may take a Markerlight for +10 points.
For every 3 Geu’la one may replace their lasgun with a pulse carbine or pulse rifle for +5 points.
The team may take one of the following weapons (2 if the squad numbers at least 15 models). This replaces a model’s lasgun:

Flamer +5 points.
Autocannon or Missile Launcher +15 points. If equipped with an Autocannon or Missile launcher the team may also be given Chamoline (see Codex Imperial Guard) at a cost of 2 points per model.

Desert Kroot

The Kroot on Taros were well adapted to their environment after feeding on imported desert life forms. There being no forests on Taros, they became experts in Sand. Replace the fieldcraft rule with the “Sandcraft” rule: A kroot, hound or Krootox unit that does not move gains a +1 bonus to any cover save they may be entitled to. They may still run in the shooting phase - this represents creeping forward- OR may shoot normally. They may go to ground for another +1 to their cover save. In addition, Kroot have the move through cover special rule.

Desert Kroot units may have one model per 10 to replace their Kroot Rifle with a Flamer for +5 points.


A small utility vehicle, the Sunfish was sometimes used in combat situations.

Skimmer. Unarmed. 30 Points.

Armor: Forward 10, Sides: 10, Rear: 10. The Sunfish is a transport with a capacity of 8 and counts as a fast attack choice. Entry points on both sides.

When the Sunfish moves at maximum rate, it adds D6” from its drone boosters.

The Sunfish may replace 2 drone boosters with 2 Gun Drones for +15 points, in which case it does not get the extra D6” move, or replace all 4 boosters with Gun Drones for +30 points, in which case it may not move more than 9” a turn.

That is enough goofy stuff for one set of games - must restrain myself! The way this works is that the other players can over rule the point costs - no argument or discussion - if you think something is too cheap, just bump it up! You could bump something down too, : )

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/09 02:20:47

Post by: Briancj

Cameoline isn't in the 5th ed IG codex, but Camo Cloaks (+1 to cover saves) are.

Otherwise, points mostly match up. The autocannon should only be 10 points, not 15.


The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/09 13:38:36

Post by: Insurgency Walker

In the weeks prior to the assault the first infiltrators made planet fall. A handful of Long range scouts deployed with scanner teams to analyze the Tau communications networks.
Among the teams were a few veterans of the 2nd Taros intervention whom had escaped with Dree, and personal from the 123rd Armored Regiments 4th recon battalion.
These Signum Explicatio teams identified high value targets for the initial assault and met with small groups of loyalists who planned to disrupt Tau forces during the coming imperial liberation.
Locations for forward logistical support of the Insurgency were also included in the intelligence data streamed to the freighter Quasimodo during the initial assault. Of particular note was a speculative mining company The Phyyra Bulette.
Incorporated by surviving cadres of the 5th infantry company 17th Tallarn regiment whom had avoided capture through their use of desert survival skills, the Phyyra Bulette became known as a final destination for many condemned laborers whom were captured during the fall of Taros.
The Phyyra Bulette performed speculative mining in the dangerous Phyyra heights while maintaining a strong core of independent explorative corps who searched out new mineral deposits for exploitation, or defended PB inc. interests from the banditry that was known to take place in the rough and tumble heights.
Positioned to collect much needed heavy weapons, the PB were given the opportunity to arm themselves during the chaos of the first days of the fight.

Many units deployed from the freighter Quasimodo were volunteers. A good portion of the Valkyrie, Vulture and Vendetta where provided by the Imperial Navy's 10019th lift regiment.
Of note were the few Arvus lighters provided by the Freeblade house Georgiou painted in the colors of the Vhane expedition force. Some of the detritus that fell from the Quasimodo contained flights of servo-cherubim, parts of the Heavenly Host, that augmented the auspex sensors of the Imperial Knights joining the assault.
The house Sacristans deployed communications pods on the wing pylons of some of the Arvus allowing real time data to flow to the Georgiou drop keeps as they approached with the main assault force.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/09 19:39:09

Post by: kestral

Awesome! Love me some Imperial Knights at some point in the campaign. And heavenly host sounds awesome.

The security detachment for the Tau installation 6B works out to 2 troops, 2 Heavy Support, 2 Fast attack. Not quite what I specified at first, but it is quite fluffy.

Been putting the sand to the table - it is getting there!

There are a few things we'll have to finagle with flyers, mostly due to the different editions involved. I'll post that tonight.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/09 20:23:48

Post by: Briancj

One planet, many stories. Here are two of them.


/// The Emperor Hears Your Prayers. Accept This In Faith. ///
+++ 6 125.999.M41 +++

Within the darkened chambers, two forms discuss future events, and how to shape them. A Servoskull dutifully records the conversation on a scroll of parchment, which will be filed away by other servants, and lost for at least three decades within the bowels of the vessel.

A robed figure, gaunt and bent from a century or more of existence, maintained by arcane machines and sheer force of will. A Magos. Another robed figure, much younger, a Disciple not yet proven, untested.

Magos: We|I have secured a place for you on the ship provided by the Rogue Trader, the Quasimodo. Several older model Imperial Navy craft have been transferred to her ownership, and of these you may have your choice. Access and launch codes are available upon your dataslate. Have you determined your method of retrieval?

Disciple: Yes, Magos. Some prisoners were transferred from the Altaran penal legion, they will be..shepherded...by an Eviscant Servitor each. A third Servitor will accompany myself to assist in properly utilizing a few Ogryns. These have already been put on board the freighter, as cargo loaders, a job at which they can excel. The Munitorum container containing our weapons and equipment was routed through three stations, and our contact on-board the Quasimodo has confirmed its arrival, location, and accessibility. I have the Electroshroud Pack to assist our task, along with the garb and accoutrements to appear as an Imperial Priest. Once we land on-planet, we will move to secure the target, and transfer it to our control, under the cover of the assault.

Magos: Excellent. This is your final test, Disciple. Do not return if you fail.


/// Your Emperor Does Not Have Time To Respond To Your Prayers. Your Duty Is Your Answer. ///
+++ 6 251.999.M41 +++

Captain Alfred "Al" Harrison looked to the skies, watching the last of the Sky Talons and Valkyries lift off toward space. "Well, at least we got most of the men and equipment out."
"Yes, sir. Now what?" asked one of the remaining troopers from the 114th Engineering Division, of the 42nd Ryzan Red Banner Guard.
"Now, we set everything to blow, and get ready for their assault. Send out the teams to the ambush points, wait for my signal to unleash a hellstorm on these xenos scum like they've never seen."
A pair of salutes, and the runner dashed off.

The Captain turned to the liaisons from the Swiftsure, a Cobra-class destroyer seconded to a Rogue Trader. "Do you have everything you need?"
"Yes, we will take our positions, well enough back to provide you cover. The ship is in orbit, lurking within debris from the orbital battles. We will be ready." Two officers and their attendants with spotting and ranging equipment.
"Good. Pound them into the sand. Escape if you can, but do not abandon us on a whim, please."
One of the two officers gave the Captain a grim look. "We live or die with you, Captain. Our rides just left."

One more task. "DiNardo."
A form melded out of shadow, as if unused to the light...or sharing a long-held grudge against it. "Sir."
"Don't throw your life away."
The individual just gives a grunt. Orders never suited them much.
"I do the Emperor's Duty."
And then they were gone.




The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/10 01:06:57

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Do you want battle reports in the Argo cluster thread? Or start a new one?

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/10 02:16:44

Post by: kestral

Thanks for the excellent fluff! Looking forward to seeing the Mechanicus when they appear.

I'm thinking to keep everything in this thread for the time being, unless there is a reason not to. Second Taros war is a prequel to Argo so it would be weird to pick up in the middle of that thread. Some day I'd like to copy paste everything into one story line.

For flyer rules I propose Chapter Approved - they seem to be identical to IA, but with some additions, for example orbital landing.

The flyer rules refer to "all hits glancing, like a fast moving skimmer", except that in 5th edition, fast moving skimmers have a 4+ Cover save instead. Presumably the glancing hits rules take precedence.

When a flyer is destroyed in mid air, it isn't clear what happens to any passengers. I propose the following table:

1-2 Mid Air Fireball. Sorry guys, all dead.
3-4 We're going down! Rough Landing. The flyer moves 3D6 inches anywhere in its forward arc and lands and is wrecked. Passengers take a strength 3 hit and disembark.
5-6 Engine out. Flyer lands anywhere within 12" and is then immobilized. May fire turreted pivoting weapons only, not wing mounts.

Tau and Flyers:

The Skyray (I only have one) clearly has its marker lights on an AA mount. Presumably, seeker missiles still hit on a 2+, though Marker lights needed to guide them (other than on the sky ray) need a 6.

Tau Installation is progressing, though not quite done yet. Where does the time go?

Automatically Appended Next Post:
The table thus far:

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It is much yellower in life.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/10 03:21:53

Post by: The Riddle of Steel

Nice use of dramatic topography on the table. I like when the vertical dimension plays a role rather than tables always being flat with a few buildings.

And I’m enjoying the storyline so far as well. Looking forward to the battle reports!


The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/10 11:32:23

Post by: kestral

Thanks! Me too. I had wanted a much ruggeder, canyon land table, but wasn't quite able to pull it off. Maybe another time!

Hey....DiNardo.... he wouldn't be really good at jumping out and throwing demotion charges would he?

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/10 13:46:04

Post by: Briancj

 kestral wrote:
Thanks! Me too. I had wanted a much ruggeder, canyon land table, but wasn't quite able to pull it off. Maybe another time!

Hey....DiNardo.... he wouldn't be really good at jumping out and throwing demotion charges would he?

Nah, they're just a whiny grunt who spends all their time on KP.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/10 21:06:08

Post by: kestral

Ah, the table is trimmed, the army lists are done, the... ... ....*&%(*&%*&^%!!! Crisis suit ankles!!!!!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/10 21:37:45

Post by: Briancj


The Maelstrom-class Vortex Grenade has been secured in its protective case, and loaded into the transport vehicle.


The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/10 22:12:49

Post by: Meer_Cat

Excellent use of a smoke detector cover- it's perfect for Tau scenery!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/11 01:03:58

Post by: kestral

Taros by stationlight before the storm, Installation 6B, Phyrea Heights, southern slope.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/11 01:16:24

Post by: Meer_Cat

Very well done! It's projects like these that show how much fun our hobby can be- and affordable! All you need is a little imagination and some perseverance. Congratulations!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/11 12:12:41

Post by: kestral

Thanks! I tend to build tables with a high degree of "what can I find lying around". That said, I have a lot more lying around than most.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/11 18:06:01

Post by: Captain Brown


I do not think I have seen an entire table with sand over it (I have seen sand placed beside some terrain before), but never the entire table.

Now I regret recycling the three fire and smoke detectors I just replaced.



The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/12 00:38:00

Post by: kestral

Well, it isn't really covered - the cloth and sand just match pretty well.

Pictures from the battles:

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Hmmm - I seem to have selfishly mostly photographed my own stuff. Hopefully the other two got some good pics of their models in action. I have some more, I'll troll through them.

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Notes to self:

First off, thanks guys! Those were some great games, though I lost them. : ) Everything I'd hoped for out of Taros. It really got things going - on the Fluff level, on the Modeling level and on the (semi) competitive play level. I've got a bunch of ideas on those fronts - the story of the inexperienced Shas'el handed a brutal pair of defeats and the path back from that, some figures I want to do (like stealth drones for a start), and the fun of getting my Tau back into their well oiled killing machine status as the Rinn'va battle back on Taros. The tricks are coming back to me. Tau in this era were all about positioning, and I can certainly do much better since I missed a couple of key plays during these games.

Other notes:
The yellow cloth (2 way stretch t-shirt material) works great piled over stuff with sand on top, though I'd like a bit denser rocks to weigh it down without having to use quite so many.
I need a light blue skyline photography backdrop - the blue was way too dark and made it look like the whole battle was being fought by moonlight. Not terrible, but I'd like a bright blue like the cover of the Tau Codex.
Does Taros have moons? It would be great to put one in some of the sky shots.
My Crisis suits are showing their age, especially in the area of poorly done magnets.

Now it s a matter of deciding where to go from here!

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Tactics notes:

If you're not moving, there should be a very good reason. Looking at you, Hammerhead.
Don't forget about the gun drones. In a piranha, they're 1/3 of the model. I was feeling disappointed in the piranha... until I realized I never did anything with the drones in either game. They have tons of uses.
Railguns are AP 1!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/12 17:37:09

Post by: Syro_

Fun pictures. it's been enjoyable seeing what a flurry of activity this blog has been the past few days (and related blogs). I hope you guys enjoyed the game. it certainly looks cool.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/13 01:10:06

Post by: The Riddle of Steel

The battlefield and terrain are looking good! Let the war commence!


The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/13 15:54:22

Post by: kestral

I certainly enjoyed it! It hit all the right notes.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/15 04:40:52

Post by: Insurgency Walker

A odd ball mix of volunteers looks over the flowing sands of Taros

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/15 09:22:27

Post by: LavuranGuard

Very atmospheric, lovely pic.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/15 16:42:34

Post by: kestral

That is a great one!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/16 13:17:07

Post by: kestral

Timeline of The Taros Wars - time Dilation and Rejuvenation Treatments may impact the significance of these dates considerably.

Year 0 - Tau Water Caste negotiates an agreement with Planetary Governor Aulis to purchase surplus Maganese and Vanadium ore.
Year 18 - Imperium begins to prepare for the Black Crusade - Taros' Tithe is increased.
Year 20 - Nymus Dree investigates Mineral Production on Taros, finds Discrepancies.
Year 21 - Denab Incident provides proof of Governor Aulis' Treason as Tau clandestine trade post is captured.
Year 21.5 Emperor's Scythes launch first Taros Intervention. One company of space marines attempt to Assassinate Aulis, mission fails with heavy casualties.
Year 22 - Tarosian Declaration marks formal beginning of First Taros War. Aulis declared Traitoris Extremis.
Year 24 Imperial Landings on Taros.
Year 24.5 Imperial Forces are defeated thoroughly in First Taros War, evacuate the planet. Aun'Vre is killed, Shas'o R'myr, commander of Tau Forces on Taros though victorious is shamed.
Year 28 Tau formally annex Taros, depose Governor Aulis. He does retain a symbolic position.
Year ??? Shas'o R'myr, off world, is tainted by Chaos.
Year 35 Tau turn Taros over to the Rinn'va Sept as it become less relevant during Third Sphere Expansion.
Year 44 First chaos cults arise among Tau Auxiliaries on Taros.
Year 48 Escape of Nymus Dree from Taros
Year 50 Imperial Forces return to Taros under Sky Marshal Euclidia Vhane.
Year 50.1 Quasimodo Debacle, Battle of Installation 6B, Fight for Space Station Dawnwater's Edge.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/16 22:02:55

Post by: Captain Brown


Nice battle shots.



The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/18 11:59:37

Post by: kestral

Thanks Captain!

Planning future games now, but in the meantime.....

Tau Cars!

By Anocities. Clearly the Rinn'va have been prioritizing consumer goods more than they should have.

My next image will be my 2000th Dakka image upload. I feel I should pick something special.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/18 12:29:40

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Wow, those are awsome! Can't wait to litter the roadways with their burning wreckage. They definitely look kind of unsettling from the front. Not happy face, not aggressive face, just plain faced.

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Not to mention they look like they are using some heretical solar tech on the roof.

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And the wheels are too small for corners at a decent speed, plus the fact that THERE IS NO WAY TO SEE THE SIDE VIEW MIRRORS! Probably just cameras, ugh.....

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Hopefully they give them away because no emperor loving promethium head would pay to drive that.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/18 23:43:54

Post by: Syro_

Very cute little cars, I hope they are put to good use in your games.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/19 00:23:53

Post by: The Riddle of Steel

Interesting vehicles. I hope they can be used to add some extra flavor to a scenario.


The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/19 13:50:26

Post by: kestral

I'll have you know those cars are coveted status symbols among the collab... ...I mean new middle class of Taros.

At the very least they provide some cover.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/19 16:40:07

Post by: Theophony

Fun little things, though the white one looks a little angry .

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/20 17:01:13

Post by: kestral

Thanks! I'm not really seeing the face thing, fortunately for me.

Here is how things long for games and modeling (very tentative, and subject to change based on the creative mojo of the person coming up with the game)

Next game may be a prequel featuring the Dark Mechanicus and tendrils of Chaos by Briancj.

Probably not going to do any new modeling for that one, but we'll see.

After that, we have the imperial forces from the Assault on 6B trying to evade the forces of the Tau and make contact with the resistance at a remote mining installation. Sadly, there is more to the situation than meets the eye... By Insurgency Walker.

I *could* do some stuff with that, but I don't have to. I have the makings of a dusty mining town on hand. I might do Kroot Tents, and a giant Krootasour I've been envisioning for a decade or so. I also might do this cliff and ramp terrain I have (salvaged from a Lizard environment set), but it is nice to feel things will work out fine if I don't.

That puts us to September, which is pretty much out for me for major miniatures games, which puts us to October. If I pick up the next game in rotation, that would have me running the space station assault and battle fleet gothic clash over Taros. That would involve significant modeling, but I do have two months to do:

Paint Sky Marshal Elucia Vhane - mostly done. I think she'll be my 2000th image.
Paint the Breaching Team (10 figures)
Aquire and paint a Tau Fleet, or at least a space station and some defenses.
Paint Vhane's shuttle. (Optional)
Design the scenario.

Certainly doable, with some discipline. Sadly, while my enthusiasm for PLAYING Taros is high, my energy for MODELING Taros is starting to slip. I think I need to refresh with some other projects.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/21 06:03:57

Post by: Briancj

Finally got around to downloading pictures, culling and organizing. I will write up the batrap from my PoV a bit later, after a nap.


Night Falls on Umia.

Denope V, known to the Imperium as Umia, a little-known world somewhere between Stygies VIII and Taros. One of countless worlds fought over and forgotten by the vast Imperium, its history only known to arcane data scribes and lost lore tables sequestered within the bowels of the corpulent mass that comprises the Administratum. But things forgotten can be re-discovered, and the events of the first Taros campaign shone a brighter light on everything between these worlds.

On the one side, a fallen Shas'o, looking for options, perhaps an opportunity to clear their name.

On the other, a dogged Inquisitor tracing a thin thread of lost knowledge in pursuit of a furtive enemy within the Mechanicus itself.

These two immovable objects will collide around one of the greatest treasures ever produced by the Imperium, lost for millennia!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/21 11:30:01

Post by: kestral

Awesome! On to Umia!

Really looking forward to reading your stuff, and hearing about the scenario. Gotta do the Tau Perspective.

I think I need some better crisis suits. Time to check out some of the aftermarket bits.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/21 13:19:41

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Inquisitor Flint Westwind, Sister Sarah and the servitor with no name at a undisclosed Shrine.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/21 14:37:43

Post by: IGtR=

A suitably atmospheric photograph: very befitting of your 2000th upload!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/21 18:22:43

Post by: kestral

I'm sure Inquisitor Westwind will have things sorted out in no time! I hear he has a sweet ride.

Speaking of which, we'll need 5th ed. 40K rules for the WGE cars.

In the meantime, the Earth Caste has been redoubling their efforts, which brings us: The Seahorse Drone Carrier.

The first Seahorse was improvised by Go'k'mar of the Earth Caste from the wreck of a devilfish salvaged after the battle for Installation 6B. Noting that his human allies felt the "machine spirit" of the tank was still strong, he wondered if the war machine might be given new life. Using the undamaged nose section with its heavy gravitc repeller, a damaged drone and backup power cell, he was able to construct a surprisingly effective combat vehicle. Seahorses were made from damaged 'fish during the early war, but were produced deliberately after damage to a devilfish factory prevented full production, but allowed the Sea Horse to be produced using a shorted version of the Devilfish production line. The Tau knew that if they could only hold on long enough, eventually their on planet material production would give them the edge. In the end, hundreds of Seahorses would see action. The sea horse was notable for the different ways it could be used, based on the versitile tau drone cradle. Although a small vehicle, it retained the heavy nose armor of the devilfish (AV 12), giving it some ability to complete with the armored sentinel. The Seahorse was commanded by a single drone hard mounted upside down where the Devilfish burst cannon had been. The limited intelligence of a single drone meant that the Seahorse generally needed additional drones or a drone controller to perform efficiently. Additional weaponry, usually fusion blasters or missile pods, could be mounted. Like the devilfish, the Seahorse could carry 2 seeker missiles, though this slowed it considerably.

The Sea Horse A configuration carried two drones. It operated as a patrol or scout unit, the three drones networked providing a modicum of intelligence, and the additional gravitic impellers of the drones making it almost as fast as the original devilfish.

The Seahorse B replaced the two drones with Hammerhead weapon mounts, a process that could be completed in less than a Rota. Lacking in intelligence and motive power, the B type operated as infantry support, as it could not outpace a running fire warrior. Commanded by a Shas'u with a drone controller, the Seahorse B had to remain close (12") to its commander, but its heavy armor and firepower gave the team a massive edge in infantry combat. Here Shas'ui Yon'fel plans a squad level attack near T'vas, accompanied by a Seahorse B.

The Seahorse C was a failed attempt to create a stealthed version of the Seahorse that never saw action.

Most radical of all was the Seahorse D, which mounted scratch built turbine engines in the drone spots, creating for all intents and purposes, a flying machine. A single drone was able to understand the more clear cut nature of air to air combat, and the Seahorse D was one of the few answers the Tau had to imperial Air Superiority. Though limited, they cold perform crucial interceptions. Seahorse D's usually operated in small groups for network support. Poorly armed and indifferently agile, they were however quite capable of bringing down a Valkyrie, however poorly they faired against true imperial interceptors.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/21 18:44:55

Post by: Briancj



The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/21 22:12:16

Post by: kestral

Why thank you. They were stand in Pirahannas, back in the days when they were forge world and I was too broke to buy much of anything anyway. Glad to have a reason to finish them up and give them a chance to maybe hit the table.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/22 00:34:54

Post by: Briancj

Work. In. Progress.


The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/22 00:44:10

Post by: kestral

Woot! Dark Mechnicus!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/22 17:28:25

Post by: Syro_

Those seahorses are really cool! You're own creation, right?

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/22 23:53:33

Post by: kestral

Yes indeed!

My 2000th image actually wound up being....

An infantry cart. Sigh.

Here's some Tau Terrain - But what is that sinister obelisk?! Something is not right here!

Then there is Eluca Vhane. I have kind of a love hate relationship with this figure - on the one hand I love the originality of the design elements - on the other hand, I hate ropy detail, and painting white. I was thinking contrast paint might have been really helpful here.

Oh, and apparently I painted a sky talon. But missed the Aquila on the front? Oops.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/23 00:29:00

Post by: Meer_Cat

Brilliant use of a watch case packaging- I've had one lingering about for months (if not years)- terrific solar power facility!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/23 02:04:17

Post by: The Riddle of Steel

Very cool and original scratch build on the Tau terrain! And the Sky Talon is looking quite good. I need to get one (or two) of those while they are still around.


The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/23 16:21:58

Post by: Captain Brown

Nice Sky Talon kestrel. You do not see many of those.

I echo Meer_Cat in that you have found a use for watch case packaging.



The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/25 16:25:40

Post by: Briancj

Hmmmmm. Test fit works for me!


TFW you remember you have an entire bag of AdMech bitz.


The briefings have been sent to the two commanders.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/26 01:03:05

Post by: The Riddle of Steel

Yes! I love the big crane. I’ve been fiddling around with a similar idea forever. Nice idea to throw the spider claw on there.


The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/26 01:04:32

Post by: kestral

Invasion minus (2 years?) - the Tau Torpedo Ram Thunderchild embarks Shas'o R;myr for Planet Umia on a Mission of Mercy.

Time to spruce up my R'myr figure....

I've ordered the fleet I'm going to convert for the Tau.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/26 06:05:50

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Dang, I need to catch up. Been a busy few weeks of real life.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/26 15:14:14

Post by: kestral

Painted the Breaching team! I made them look like Vhane's ship's Armsmen. Great figures. Some of the red and yellow is the new Contrast stuff.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/07/27 01:15:02

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Those look good!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/01 11:54:41

Post by: kestral

Thanks! I enjoyed painting them.

At this juncture I need points for my Auxiliaries so I can make my list for the Uma Battle. So here's what I'm thinking:

The Kiff: (These Guys)

WS 3, BS 3, S 3, T 3, A2 W1 I 4, ld 9, Save 6+

Stealth, Stubborn, Fleet.
A Kif's shooting and close combat attacks always wound on a roll of 6, even if their strength would not normally be high enough to do so.
A Kif squad is immediately removed from the table (counts as destroyed) if:
They are outnumbered 3 to 1 by enemy models within 12"
They are below half strength and an enemy unit is within 12".

Kiff Indentured Squad 5-15 models, 8 points per model. Armed with lasguns or Autoguns, frag grenades.. One Kiff may replace its rifle with a missile Launcher for +15 Points.
While Kiff are super, they are still S3, T3, Lasgun, 6+ save dudes - plus they run away. Note that Kiff are modeled with various pistols, close combat weapons, LMGs, sniper rifles, etc, but the effects of these weapons is included in the profile above. Compared to Kroot, they lack S4, WS 4, and S4 shooting. They effectively have the same number of attacks, better Ld (while it lasts), and two more special rules.

Kiff are a troops choice for the Tau on Taros.

Then we have X'xlal and Chuma,

X'zial: WS 4, BS 3, S 4, T 4, A3 W3 I 5, ld 8, Save 5+(Invulnerable).
Chuma: WS 3, BS 4, S 3, T 4, A2 W1 I 2, ld 8, Save 5+

They are always fielded together as a Duo.

X'zail is equipped with a flamer and a Dark Eldar shadow field that conveys a 2+ invulnerable save on both it and Chuma, however after a save is failed the field shorts out and does not function for the remainder of the game.

Chuma is equipped with a melta gun and melta bombs.

Special Rules: Deepstrike, Outflank, hit and run. Both models count as equipped with Jump Packs (12" move, 6" assault).

Not team players. X'xail and Chuma fight when and where they wish, and care nothing for Tau priorities. They may never capture objectives or score any victory points except by destroying/damaging enemy units. They always start the game in reserve.

Psycho Killers. The Duo is horrible beyond belief in close combat. If they win close combat, all enemy units automatically fall back, unless they are fearless or vehicles. However, the Duo may not pursue as they are too busy mutilating the dead.

Really not sure how to price these psychos. If we think of them as Jump Marines with a shadow field, flamer, Melta gun, and melta bombs that is something like 110 points. Say 150 to be sure.

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They are a fast attack choice.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/01 17:59:19

Post by: Briancj

For the Duo, I would replace the 'Psycho Killers' rule with "Fearless" and "Relentless". Price them at 120 points.

As for the Kiff, all those special rules (which are typically +3 points/model in this edition) PLUS better leadership, init, attacks; their base cost would be somewhere around 30+ points a model before any negative modifiers. I don't think the negative rules make up for a 20+ drop in points.


The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/01 19:14:38

Post by: kestral

 Briancj wrote:
For the Duo, I would replace the 'Psycho Killers' rule with "Fearless" and "Relentless". Price them at 120 points.

As for the Kiff, all those special rules (which are typically +3 points/model in this edition) PLUS better leadership, init, attacks; their base cost would be somewhere around 30+ points a model before any negative modifiers. I don't think the negative rules make up for a 20+ drop in points.


Lol. Nope, the opponent gets to make the call - if you say 30 points, 30 points it is. : ) That said, it is probably better if I run them as IG veterans who are roughly similar.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/01 20:01:45

Post by: The Riddle of Steel

I like the idea of having a wider variety of Xenos and those white-snouted Kiff look like they will fit in nicely.

That is an interesting set of rules that makes them fairly unique and they should be fun to play. My only question is why they simultaneously have Stubborn and a rule that makes them seem somewhat cowardly or like they would escape when in great danger. So if they just got wrecked in melee, wouldn't they want to run away, not stand and fight on despite the losses? Plus, they have Hit and Run, giving them a more appropriate way to respond to a close combat they are losing than standing and fighting to the death. And it currently feels like maybe too many USRs to keep track of in the game. I would maybe stick to the ones that all seem to fit (my perception of) the theme better. Just my observation without knowing anything else about these guys.

Cool idea and I bet they will add some fun to any game they are in. Looking forward to seeing them in action.


The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/01 20:08:21

Post by: kestral

Fluff wise, the idea is that Kiff fight like demons right up to the point where they calculate that they are more likely to live if they run away (despite the terrible retribution their Hakkitt will exact from them) then if they stay. At that point each one simply bolts in a random direction and the squad vanishes.

I think I can find something suitable from codex Dark Eldar or Catachan that will work well. Fluff is neat, but it is more important to have clear cut rules. Might also use the Penal Squad rules, since the tau view them as cannon fodder. Tank hunting lasguns are kind of fun, but also pretty silly.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/01 20:28:06

Post by: Captain Brown


You have such a great imagination as you build this Second Taros campaign.



The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/02 00:42:21

Post by: Briancj

...ah, but I am not the opponent in this battle...


or am I?

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/02 01:01:10

Post by: kestral

Why thanks!

Hmmm, now I've got a bit of a puzzler. I hadn't originally planned on fielding the Ghostkeel, despite loving all things stealth, since I didn't have one, but then I-Walker upped and gave me one! It also fits really well with the next battle (Diplomatic mission? Of course I want a giant invisible death machine lurking out there if things go wrong).

But it needs rules for 5th edition. I originally thought I could just use the 7th ed rules, but they are a mess with multiple interacting USRs that wind up giving it a 2+ cover save all the time in typical 7th edition fashion.

So how about this:


A Ghostkeel is a monstrous creature with all the rules thereoff. It is accompanied by 2 stealth drones which must remain with 12" of the Ghostkeel, but are otherwise treated as a separate unit.

WS 3 BS 3 S6 T5 I2 A3 W4 LD 8 3+ Save.

Primary Weapon:
Rotary Ion Cannon S7, Assault 4, AP 3, 24" range.
Fusion Collider Assault 1 or Heavy 3, S 8, small Blast, AP 1, 18" range, melta. Costs + 15 points.

Secondary Weapon: Twin linked Flamers. Upgrade to TL Burst Cannons for + 5 points or TL Fusion Blasters for +10 points.

Drones have the normal drone profile except that they have a 3+ armor save and T4.

Special Rules
Ghostkeel: Hit and Run, Monstrous Creature, Jet Pack.

Stealth Field Generator A ghostkeel must be spotted like a Stealth team, all other rules apply.

Booster Jet Pack - when a Ghostkeel makes a jet pack move it rolls 2D6 for the distance travelled.

Holophoton Jammers. The Ghostkeel can gain a 2+ cover save against the shooting from a single enemy unit during the game (One use).

Stealth, Hit and Run, Jet Pack

Stealth Field Generator.

Shrouding Field. If any model of a unit's line of fire passes within 3" of a stealth drone, the target gains a 5+ cover save. If the target has a Stealth Field Generator, the cover save is 4+. Stealth Drones thus have a 3+ cover save at all times.

Points? IDK. 135 is what it cost in 7E. This version has less firepower and less awesome cover saves, but is more practical in that the drones are in a separate unit, and has the stealth suit protection which is situationally awesome. Maybe 150.

I'm super jazzed for this model on a couple levels - for one thing, the stealth drones will make perfect tau exploration ships in BFG as well as being useful in 40K! The Fusion Collider looks like it would also make a great ship.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/02 15:45:57

Post by: Briancj

When I get home from work today, let me put some better thoughts into these.


The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/04 03:52:06

Post by: kestral

Absolutely. I've got my list mostly done, but can fiddle around a bit with whatever points come up.

In the meantime, the Euclidian Starstriders need a sweet ride. Fortunately, I'm fairly sure that Insurgency Walker is the king of sweet 28mm rides, and he had this for them:

I'm thinking of doing the Corvus Blackstar in the same style. It looks like the Tau will be defending Dawnwaters Edge agains the science fiction of the 60s. I think I'll include my Valkyrie in that scenario also, since that is the only role that would vaguely make sense for them on Taros.

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Note to self: The glass is done with Elysian Green and Reaper Dungeon slime.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
And some Corellian Greenshade.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/04 20:48:52

Post by: Briancj

HAWT. That looks VERY RT-era, to me!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/05 17:35:21

Post by: Syro_

That's sweet little ship, looks cool! Is it made from an Easter egg and bitz?

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/05 18:49:32

Post by: Insurgency Walker

It's from a Bombshell miniatures counterblast kickstarter. Sad that it didn't go into full production.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
Found yet another chimera conversion kit from Blood and Skulls.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/06 12:49:42

Post by: kestral

The Mighty Ghostkeel - gave it a bit more dynamic pose, magnetic main weapon, and a very basic paint job I'll improve on someday.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/06 20:52:20

Post by: Captain Brown


I agree with Briancj's sentiments, that little flyer looks very much like something out of the pages of Rogue Trader.



The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/06 22:59:27

Post by: shasolenzabi

Rocket ship looks good and very retro, Ghostkeel suit looks great too!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/07 09:32:39

Post by: Kroem

 Kroem wrote:
Nice work on the aliens, I like the variety you are getting into the forces.

I feel like I've seen that type of alien somewhere before but can't put my finger on it... how annoying lol.

I finally remembered, they are Ithorians or 'Hammerheads' from the Star Wars universe I think.

I wouldn't worry about the menagerie of auxiliaries, if Taros is supposed to be an entrepot for Tau space it makes sense that there are a lot of aliens around who would need to fight for their lives once the Imperium turned up!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/07 12:06:00

Post by: kestral

Thanks folks!

I've always liked looking at the "general citizens of the galaxy" beyond the great powers, so the aliens do fit that mold.

The original Arbites of Taros were wiped out in the first Tau invasion. Little did the squads accompanying Inquisitor Westwood a world away on Umia know that they would have a chance to avenge their fallen comrades on none other than the original archytect of the Tau victory on Taros... Shas'o R'ymr!.

Speed painted Rhinos....

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Inquisitor Westwind had requisitioned 2 squads of steel legion, but only a missile team showed up, the rest pleading "Uniform Malfunction", so he was forced to draw upon the ON(SF)'s Imperial Marines.

And with that, it is time to pack the figures and off to Umia!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/08 00:50:28

Post by: kestral

I modified the Kiff to make them less elite and more cannon fodder, and simplified the Ghostkeel slightly. (Edited the posts above for simplicity). I'll review the rules with I-Walker on the way down.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/08 01:58:58

Post by: The Riddle of Steel

The variety of models and forces in this campaign is impressive. I agree with you that there is so much more to the galaxy that could be explored beyond the core armies and models. Your imagination is the only limit. I love the idea of introducing some new xenos species and strange human cultures.


The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/08 02:51:23

Post by: Briancj

Don't look!



The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/08 23:00:49

Post by: Briancj

Tracts you don't want found in your rucksack during inspection:

"Bonked by a Mechanicus Crane"
"Crushed by a Krootox"
"Harker and the Ladies"

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/09 03:06:20

Post by: kestral


Shas'o Rymr, top of turn 5. At least, I wish I'd thought to say that.

Thing I did say "Well, admittedly my troops are in the building. However, it isn't my building. Doesn't that mean I can shoot it?"

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/09 04:02:30

Post by: Insurgency Walker

 Briancj wrote:
Don't look!



Awsome game table! Thanks for the game. What you can't really understand from the pictures is that the Ordinatus is actually being excavated! The giant tank is in the table! Built in like a layer cake! Which is probably a good thing as the Tau would have been trying to take it out for a joy ride.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/09 11:16:11

Post by: kestral

Found my tape measure... ...in my pocket.

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You can see it buried into the table here:

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A really amazing set up!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/10 23:32:56

Post by: kestral

Here's a few more pictures from the game - Briancj was a tremendous host, built the table, and GM'd it. The Tau battled inquisiton several years before the second Taros war, thus forming a Prequel storyline with the Dark Mechanicus plotting towards a sinster end, and Shas'o R'myr siding further into darkness as Chaos gnaws at the edges of his "soul?". Do Tau have Souls?

R'myr had given aid to an imperial ship attacked by orks, and as a gesture of good will returned the survivors to Umia, a world currently occupied by the Mechanicus, who were excavating past glories, including the Ordinatus! R'myr was providing escort for a water caste Diplomat and touring the facility when Inquisitor Westwind accompanied by Imperial Guard, ON(SF) Marines, and Arbites arrest squad appeared suddenly on the landing field nearby. Moved by impulses he didn't quite understand, R'myr entered the mechanicus fortress which had suddenly been left open and obtained a heavily armored data canister. He was in the process of carrying it away when flanking chimeras roared up and he was under attack by gaudily clad imperial warriors. Wounded, suddenly disoriented, and wracked by weird sensations, he and his bodyguard unaccountably fell back, leaving the caninster in Imperial hands. Roaring with rage, he rallied his forces as contingency crisis teams dropped from the Thunderchild. Massacring the Imperials in his sector, he listened to the Mechanicus Comms as his loyal troops carried the relic canister away in a Sunfish Gravcar. He then called for General Order 2 - and the Tau opened fire on everything in sight, Imperial and (previously neutral) mechanicus. The mechanicus turned on the Tau with a brutal fury, but his Crisis team gunned down the mechanicus leader and he found he really didn't care about the casualties that might not have been necessary.

In the meantime, Kroot warriors carried off the wounded inquisitor across the table. Would they eat him? Return him to R'myr? Or form a new alliance?

We've requested another episode from Briancj, so hopefully we'll get to find out!

A few of my favorite pics....

R'myr contemplates the open door to the heart of Darkness....

The Kroot drag the inquisitor down after a 3 turn melee, but then flee the board!

Chuma Death or Glories a Rhino, before the Duo is gunned down by enraged Arbites with Shotguns!

Amazing all around. Really appreciated it - thanks again!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/11 01:29:38

Post by: Insurgency Walker

So the Starstriders needed a few flight attendants.

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Also a tank commander?

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/11 14:24:22

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Some say the Starstriders Flight Attendent were recruited from Necromunda Spyrer Hunters. Others suggest a darker history, where they gained both their skills and flight gear fighting amongst the tall spires of the dark city Commorragh

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/12 01:16:10

Post by: The Riddle of Steel

Looks like it was a great battle. I’m envious of having a GM to enable some real plot twists in the games. Really looking forward to more.


The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/13 03:14:55

Post by: kestral

Thanks - it was indeed a luxury!

Should the tank commander be mounted on a tank? Looks like a cool figure.

Next two games are at the moment "All your mule are belong to us", a series of kill team and small battles designed for a single day, and Assault on Dawnwater's edge (October) a combined BFG and Spacestation assault.

In the meantime, here is the first Euclidian Starstrider. Mostly done with Contrast.

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The rest won't have any green, but I felt it really worked for that figure.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/13 12:28:57

Post by: Insurgency Walker

She is looking wild!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/17 21:33:48

Post by: kestral

With the next game featuring Kroot, I've dug out an ancient project.... ...The Krootasaur! Sadly, it is looking kind of muppetish. With the next games featuring old school kill team (the "sneak past the brutes" thing), I feel there should be a Krootasaur pen. You can sneak through it... ...if you want to take the risk of being stomped.

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Dubbing around with Kroot Kill Team. I'll need some more figures - the lizard guys would be counts as Kroot. Hoping to borrow some of Briancjs!

The Wargames Exclusive Kroot archer is I-Walker's. Although a Kroot in a halter top is pretty silly, this is actually a really great figure, one of my favorites from that line.
I may repaint the rock to provide more contrast with the figure.

Plus a very early Chaos Kroot conversion of mine from many years ago.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/26 01:02:34

Post by: kestral

Been busy, and I probably should be doing something other than posting pics here, but screw it!

The all your Mule are Belong to us Scenario is nearly finished....

45 klicks from Installation 6B, a Kroot encampment near a cave complex in the mountains at dawn...

Although appearing sinister, the Kroot Butcher Pole is in fact just a way of keeping meat (rare on Taros) out of the reach of enterprising Kroot Hounts.

Some of the limited Biosphere the tau are trying to instal on Taros is in evidence.

Utterly unaware of how many cliche's they have just committed, the Kroot have captured the niece of a Mine Overseer sympathetic to the Imperial Cause based on a tip from Tau Sympathizers. The Mine Overseer was supposed to link up with the Imperial Invasion force, but sadly the Kroot have eaten him (more meat than the Niece). Now they plan a dark sacrifice to the "Luminous Ancestors", the new cult rising among them followed by another gruesome feast.

Imperial rescuers arrive!

Will they try to sneak through the Krootasaur Pen?

Wasting no time they assault the Shaper blasting brute squads as they go!

Melee with the Kroot takes a heavy toll as they flee with the agent.

Only the Sgt survives to escape the field! Hopefully the information will be worth it!

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The Kroot, on the other hand, will eat well this morning. So well, they will not bother to warn their erstwhile allies nearby. Between their gluttony and timely information about treachery among the human population, the Imperium will have the advantage in the next game, as the small force of loyalists try to secure transport.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/26 15:48:59

Post by: Briancj


The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/27 02:16:48

Post by: The Riddle of Steel

Interesting and creative stuff, as always. I love the shot of the kroot in front of the cave with the supply crates and the meat pole. This blog has such a unique feel to it, its what the hobby is all about.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/27 10:43:54

Post by: kestral

Why thanks! That was my favorite picture too.

Choosing their moment, the loyalists descended on a remote mining outpost, seeking additional transport.

The defenders - a couple of Tech Magii and their servitors, a gang of miners and hangers on, the Drones who are almost always to be found "minding" remote areas, two "counts as" powerlifter sentinels, and an Ogrryn!

The imperial forces were equally eclectric, consisting mostly of... ...high performance cars?

Roaring down into the outpost, the battle for the Mules is on!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/28 01:57:56

Post by: The Riddle of Steel

Nice rides! I want to see those cars in action. This looks to be yet another very unique battle.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/30 13:40:43

Post by: Syro_

I'm loving these unique and creative scenarios Kestral

The Return to Taros @ 2019/08/30 21:50:29

Post by: kestral

Credit where Credit is due - this one is I-Walker and the Previous is Briancj! I'll be up again in October.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/09/01 00:52:30

Post by: kestral

Transport Heist:

The Imperial forces entered the Mining outpost and swiftly seized one Mule despite suppressing fire from heavy bolter servitors in one of the building.

The miners managed to grab the Mule in the shop and get it going with the Tech Priest's Repair Servitors.

The "Powerlifter Sentinels" took damage but remained a threat, particularly since the Tech Priest continued to repair them!

Emerging from the caves, a mining gang assaults a Car - and winds up looking rather foolish.

Sadly, a heavy flamer ruined the day of the first Magos as the Imperium took out the central building fortress with extreme prejudice.

The Tau are quick to send aid to their subjects - there are always drone "minders" on hand.

And they take charge of the third Mule!

They try to box in the Imperial Mule, but it escapes. Still the forces of Tau/Chaos/Kroot/Miners? are up two mules to 1 in the final battle!

As night falls, a Kroot Kill team prepares to repay the Imperials for their visit....

Stealthily they move into camp, devouring one picket brute squad after another.

90% of casualties are caused by the two Kroot Hounds, their beaks slick with blood!

Aided by some good rolls, the Kroot manage to make it into striking distance from the objective.

The Final assault! Some kroot are lost to the imperial officer, but...

They get away with the Comms Unit. And the Comms Officer. Victory for Kroot. Or maybe Chaos.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/09/02 13:00:11

Post by: The Riddle of Steel

Nice double battle report. I like the unique scenario with the vehicles and then the throwback to the original Kill Team rules.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/09/02 15:10:08

Post by: amazingturtles

There is something almost cute about the drones piled into the mule like that.

Great report, also!

The Return to Taros @ 2019/09/04 00:10:28

Post by: kestral

I love drones personally, partly because they aren't 14' tall and covered with spikes, guns, and gore. They're humble war machines and emblematic of what I like about the tau.

Another unit I really love - Insurgency Walker's Stretch Sentinel - a storied model on and off the table, now painted. Not sure about the basing, may just copy the rough riders, probably just leave it for now until a set of sentinels are painted at some point.

I put a little more paint on the Duo, but didn't have a chance to post a picture IIRC...
(And made the flamer more threatening).

I wonder if I should try some mottling or lining on the wings...

I also rebased them.

Here's a WIP on the Kroot Kill team - I'm very fond of the hunchbacked one...

The Return to Taros @ 2019/09/04 06:05:08

Post by: Briancj

That stretch sentinel is HOT.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/09/04 16:09:57

Post by: Captain Brown

Interesting conversion of the Sentinel kestrel.



The Return to Taros @ 2019/09/05 21:40:31

Post by: Insurgency Walker

Looks like some dirty Tau are going to be eating IG assault ramp.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/09/06 01:59:43

Post by: The Riddle of Steel

I can’t wait to see that thing painted and in a battle report, Insurgency Walker.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/09/06 11:16:34

Post by: kestral

Cool! What is it?

The Return to Taros @ 2019/09/06 11:47:03

Post by: Insurgency Walker

That is a Mortian Infantry Assault Vehicle. A Mias? It's basically a minigorgon. (FW kit). It's by the same guy that does the scaled down Macharius. I thought it would be based on the same hull as his tank which would have put it on the cusp of super heavy size but this kit is very similar to the old Chimera in volume. Not as wide, bit longer.

Has enclosed option too.

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Another new kit I'm fond of is the Kangaroo APC,
Or Chimaroo as I'm going to call it.

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After actions report. Col Helstrom 123rd Armored Regiment.

Of course having volunteered for the first assault wave from the Quasimodo I was considered to have put myself in considerable peril. Still, I desired to make contact with the 4th Battalions recon squads while gathered intelligence was still actionable and I was no stranger to fighting behind enemy lines having come up through the ranks of the recon. The enhanced communication network of the Knights host allowed me to receive the first reports on Tau movements from the 4th. The opportunity to get one of the enhanced auspex pods that utilized the knights house heavenly host close to a priority target being defended by a Tau hunter cadre was foremost in my mind. I found an element targeting installation 6B, though the volunteer pilot was concerned about flying a mission with the modified drop pod. I left a reluctant navy pilot with my command staff to ride down in our assigned Valkyrie while I personally redirected an auspex pod onto the waiting Arvus.

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I had passed my first Arvus check ride only a year ago and this would be my first orbital combat drop as pilot. The Arvus hull not being reinforced for combat missions, I chose a target zone well masked from the searching Tau guns. Unfortunately, I missed my mark.

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Most of the detachments Valkyrie were already on site along with an Escorting Vulture. Being exposed I put the Arvus autocannon to good work targeting the closest Tau combat suit. Soon I was nestled into my original desired landing zone with a cargo of sappers ready to disembark and begin the arduous task of burning out the Tau defenders from the closest fortification.

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Much like Basilisk crews that proudly proclaim that you can't hide from the earthshaker canon, the Tau have their own weapons that can strike from outside of direct line of sight. The Arvus was struck repeatedly along with the deployed sapper squad. With minimal damage to both the Arvus and the sapper squad we joined the assault.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/09/07 00:17:43

Post by: kestral

Great fluff! And the Chimeroo looks sweet.

The Return to Taros @ 2019/09/08 14:58:04

Post by: Insurgency Walker

After action report continues....

After a Tau raingun hit disabled the autocannon on the Arvus all I could do was watch the battle progress from within the cockpit. Outflanking Admech forces with Ogren assault squads and special weapons teams seized the southern and central objectives while the Grenadiers moved to take the northern hill. Coming under heavy assault from Tau stealth teams and warriors the Grenadiers won the day due to their faith, carapace armor, and the Sgts deft use of a powersword.

Unfortunately, quality auspex imagery was not available of the aftermath.

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Enemies of the Emperor should fear any veteran or elite troopers backed by a Priestess of Diane.

Our primary mission objectives secured it was time to move to the secondary objective of the day. Survival! Not all of the deployed troops had transport. While the general order of the day was to deploy with extra fuel instead of extra weapons on the pylons of our VTOLs not all volunteers were equipped as such either do to personal preference or a shortage of drop tanks. My own Arvus was an example of a craft that did not have the fuel reserves to make the trip to my designated FSB (Forward Support Base) with a full load of troops. Some volunteers chose to stay at installation 6B to face the approaching Tau counter attack. A quick check of our maps showed an Imperial mining facility near by. A brave Grenadier Sgts, one Bastonne, chose to make contact with the miners to secure transport and fuel. I had enough fuel to get the squad out of the danger zone of Installation 6B, however past that we would have to go our separate ways if I was going to fly to my rendezvous with the 4ths recon element.

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While meeting with a loyal Taros Militia at FAB (Forward Action Base) Saber I received the good news that the troops who remained at Installation 6B held the day. Although looses were high the installation remained under our control and the Tau reinforcements driven off. However, we also received the dire news that the closest mine works to 6B were occupied by a group of Tau sympathetic renegades. Worse still was the report that a local Kroot clan seemed to be sacrificing people to ***********. I needed to confirm the presence of ************* cultists! This one bit of intelligence could have a major impact on our entire campaign!
Having deployed without our Chimeras, and with the assigned Valkyrie and Vendettas grounded from battle damage it would take hours to repair, I was left with two options. We still had a few functional Skytalons. Several Skytalons had been deployed carrying containers to establish FSB (Forward Support Bases) to better arm loyalist Militia and resupply survivors from the surprise assault. We could deploy a few infantry by transport via cargo containers, or transport some light armored vehicles that were airmobile. I chose the second, and when we caught up with Sgt Bastonne team Cannon ball was formed.


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After a quick battle two things were determined. We didn't get enough mule to transport all the remaining survivors. Without guidance of the Imperial ecclesiastic some citizens of Taros had turned to darker faiths. Much darker.