Monday, November 17, 2014

Hobby Budget Challenge Plan - Tau

Once we settled on the time frame and expectations for our Hobby Budget Challenge, I debated several different armies to paint up for the challenge. My biggest debates were between completing an army wasting away in my closet or trying out something cool and new.



I considered updating my Dark Eldar, in part because the Codex came out right about the same time as we were ironing out the challenge. I was surprised at how budget friendly many of the Dark Eldar kits are - 30 Warriors in 6 Venoms and 15 Scourges checks in just under $350.

I also looked at starting a Knight army, with some Space Marines to fill it out. The issue with this idea was that there would be at least one month where I would spend nothing in order to save up my budget for a Knight kit.

Orks, using the Stormclaw set as a basis, were surprisingly affordable as well. The issue came down more to wanting to paint that many models - in the double up month I had 50 Boyz slated. In fact the numbers became so daunting I didn't even finish planning out the budget, stopping after 4 months and with about 100 infantry models plus six Killa Kans.

In the end, I settled on Tau, who largely have been sitting untouched in my closet since they were first created in Third Edition.

The Evil Empire Rises
After a couple years of playing and transporting horde or quasi-horde Tyranids, something I'm working toward is lower model count armies. For Tau, ever since my second game at NOVA in 2013, I've been entertained by the Farsight Bomb. It's kind of mean and a huge points investment, but it's straightforward and a bit of an easy button, which is something that appeals to me as a secondary army.

My first step was actually charting out how expensive a Farsight Bomb is in points (about 800 points with just Farsight, can push 1,000 with Shadowsun). With the bomb more or less planned out, I wanted to figure out what units could round out an army with them considering over half my points would be in reserve. This is also the point where I started costing out everything to determine what would fit in the budget.

In the end, I settled on 2 boxes of Crisis Suits, 1 Commander, Farsight, 1 Box of Firewarriors, 2 Devilfish, 2 Riptides, and 8 metal Pathfinders with an estimated eBay purchase price of $20.

Overall, it's not required to plan out all purchases for the Hobby Challenge, but I wanted to make sure I got everything together and in an order that would allow me to use it as a list while I built up the army. As a result, I've hashed out this likely schedule of purchases:

  • December: Crisis Suit box: 3 Crisis Suits and 6 Gun Drones
  • January: 12 Firewarriors, Devilfish
  • February: Commander, Riptide, 8 Pathfinders
  • March: Crisis Suit box
  • April: Riptide
  • May: Farsight, Devilfish
I opted to put hold off on my Double Up month until February in part to avoid the holidays and also to spread out the number of models. I wanted to begin with Troops (so long as I use Farsight Enclaves for some of it, Crisis Suits count) and doubling up there would have meant more models early on when hobby time might be at a premium. That said, I might bump the February Riptide or Commander up a month so as to have more of a force ready sooner.

I opted to go with the Crisis Suits first in part because I haven't settled on a scheme yet, and the Drones will make for good guinea pigs for scheme ideas that I can try out quickly and redo fairly simply. 

Farsight is being left to the end in part because I think named characters probably shouldn't be used in skirmish level games. I also want to be very comfortable with my scheme and be comfortable with devoting particular attention to such a centerpiece model. Finally, it also allows me the leeway to change directions a little should I decide to part way through the challenge - my budget won't be tied down by an expensive special character model. 

It's just a couple weeks until the Hobby Budget Challenge kicks off. Has anyone else planned out their entire budget like me? What is everyone thinking to start out the challenge?