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Made in us
Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps







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. 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.
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka





6 foot underwater

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

cyborks & flyboyz : http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/300067.page
heretical ramblings : http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/302773.page
imperial preachings : http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/0/303365.page
Da Waaagh-ky Races : http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/325045.page
Briancj: You have the Mek Taint, MT, and the only thing we can do is watch in horror/amazement.

 
   
Made in us
Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps







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:





   
Made in us
Ruthless Interrogator





Maine

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

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2018/08/27 00:13:48


Voxed from Salamander 84-24020
 
   
Made in us
Mutilatin' Mad Dok





USA

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

   
Made in us
Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps







 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.
   
Made in us
Ruthless Interrogator





Maine

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.

Voxed from Salamander 84-24020
 
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Rough Rider with Boomstick






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

"He fears his fate too much, or his desserts are small, who will not put it to a single touch; to win- or lose- it all."

Montrose Toast



 
   
Made in us
Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps







Thanks!

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.
   
Made in ca
Trustworthy Shas'vre






 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.

   
Made in us
Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps







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.

   
Made in us
Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps







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.

   
Made in us
Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps







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.
   
Made in us
Mutilatin' Mad Dok





USA

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!

   
Made in us
Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps







Thanks! They are Zombiesmith models:

https://www.zombiesmith.com/products/storm-of-steel-took-knight-starter

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.
   
Made in us
Ruthless Interrogator





Maine

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

Voxed from Salamander 84-24020
 
   
Made in us
Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps







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.



   
Made in ca
Courageous Questing Knight





drinking tea in the snow

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

realism is a lie
 
   
Made in us
Ruthless Interrogator





Maine

 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.

Voxed from Salamander 84-24020
 
   
Made in us
Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps







Thanks!

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!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/11/27 10:52:06


 
   
Made in us
Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps







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.





   
Made in us
Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps







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....



   
Made in us
Mutilatin' Mad Dok





USA

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

   
Made in us
Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps







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.







Automatically Appended Next Post:
My favorite part is the pinned sleeve.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/12/04 22:30:22


 
   
Made in us
Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps







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

   
Made in us
Mutilatin' Mad Dok





USA

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

   
Made in us
Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps







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.... : )


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Trying to winnow it down is kind of painful. I too have some very neat plastic bottles....

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/12/07 01:37:09


 
   
Made in vn
Fresh-Faced New User




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

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/12/07 03:03:57


   
Made in us
Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps







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







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.



   
 
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