Saturday, November 20, 2010

Staging the Battle with the Tau

So, for this session, I knew that it was going to involve two, (possibly three) epic space battles. Also, it would be the introduction of the Tau to the campaign. I really wanted the Tau to leave an impression. I chose them as a campaign nemesis because they are so different from what we've traditionally dealt with in the 40k universe. In Dark Heresy, the players had experienced all kinds of Warp-tainted enemies. Now, it was time to introduce something totally different. Something totally...alien.

Painting up a Tau Ship
The Tau ship was really easy to paint up. I got a Merchant Class ship, because I liked its look the best. Just based it black with a dry brush of grey. Then, with a fine brush, I went back in and put in the gunmetal on the cannons and added some red highlights. Overall, I was very impressed with the model. It's 100% metal for one, and much more importantly, it looks a lot better than the ship on their website. I'm not saying that I paint so well. Just that the photos for the Tau ships on the GW site simply don't do them justice.

Overall, the Merchant Class Tau ship is very reminiscent of the Starcraft Battlecrusier. Or rather, I should say that it's the other way around.

Cheap Little Props Mean Everything
You know, the thing about space is...there's nothing in it.

Staging space battles on a piece of black felt is all fine and good, but 99% of the time there is nothing else on the table but the ships, because space is, well, empty. So, I found a very cheap, quick, and easy way to spice up my space battles. Just print out some pictures of planets and put them on the mat.

Here's an Earth-sized planet. To scale!

Just one or two makes all the difference. And the fun part is - the math works out!

Fun with the Maths
A Void Unit in Rogue Trader is an abstract measurement. However, they suggested as a rule of thumb to call the average VU around 10,000 km. With some quick Google-fu, we can see that the Earth is just a little over about 40,000 km. So on your battlemat, 4 inches, 4 squares, or 4 hexes can be the diameter of any planet cutout you put down. And that planet will be approximately the size of earth. Easy as pie.

Now, you have the bragging rights of not only having cool props, but you have the geek satisfaction that your props are to scale.

With a little more Google-fu, we can see that the moon is, when closest, about 350,000 km way. Or 35 inches on my battlemat. So, when I placed the moon in the battle 35 inches away from the main planet, I could still revel in the coolness that the battle was to scale.

Perhaps the coolest thing about all of this is that you really get a sense of how fast these ships can move. If a Rogue Trader crew knows what they are doing, they can cross the distance between the Earth and the Moon within an hour's time. That's over 350,000 km (217,479 mi.) an hour! And remember that they are moving ships with enormous mass.

Here, we see the battle with the Tau as it began. The Tau were in orbit around an Earth-sized planet, while the far moon was about as far away as our Moon is to us. And the cut-outs were to scale. Kind of neat to see it in scale before you.

How did I get that when a fast ship moves only 8? Remember that the ship's Void Master and Explorator can both boost a ship's speed significantly. We've seen PCs more than double a ship's movement with good rolls. It makes a tremendous difference.

As the battle joins, the fast Tau ship was able to cross the difference swiftly. Kitsune's ship hid behind the berth of the ringed moon while the Ferral Wolf gave chase to the Fel Hand.


  1. Measurements, redux:

    We actually had this conversation during a game at one point, and ultimately it doesn't matter that much since this is a fictitious setting and the ships aren't to scale anyway - but just to have it written down and in case it's helpful for future reference:

    Earth's diameter is about 8k miles, or about 12k km (with some various depending on whether you're measuring from the equator or poles). The numbers you reference are actually the *circumference*, which is about 25k miles or 40k km.

    Since on the suggested 1in = 10k km, an earth-sized planet would be just over an inch across, I think for dramatic effect it worked better for you to be using the bigger planets on the mat as you were anyway.


  2. Thanks for the correction, Penguin! Next time, maybe we'll use 1 inch planets!

  3. Bah! I had commented on this, I guess it didn't take.

    Anyway, kudos on the Tau ship, it looks great!

  4. Bạn muốn ship hàng nhanh, muốn sử dụng dịch vụ giao hàng tận nơidịch vụ thu tiền hộ. Muốn biết Các loại hàng được vận chuyển bằng máy bay và ở các dịch vụ chuyển phát nhanh sài gòn. Hãy liên hệ Proship nhé, những gì bạn cần chính là những dịch vụ chúng tôi đang cung cấp.

  5. Giám đốc đảm trách Nghiên cứu CBRE tại Singapore và khu vực Đông Nam Á, Desmond Sim nhận định: “Hiện vẫn còn phổ thông rào cản và tránh van chuyen di Bac Kan mà những nước trong khối ASEAN cần phải vượt qua”. trước nhất là khả năng quản lý yếu kém của van chuyen di Thanh Hoa, nguồn cung nhộn nhịp mang thể dẫn tới biến động giá thuê mặt bằng dich vu van chuyen di Bac Giang.

    Điều này sẽ gây bê trễ hoặc thậm chí ngăn cản việc mở mang của các nhà bán buôn. Thứ 2 là việc thiếu nguồn lao động có tay nghề cao cũng là thách thức, với thể gây trở ngại trong việc chuyển hàng đi Hà Nội, dich vu van chuyen di Bac Ninhchành xe đi Cao Bằngvan chuyen hang hoa Dien Bien Phu và mở mang của những nhà cung cấp công nghiệp có trị giá cao.

    Thứ ba là sự chênh lệch lớn về chuyên môn cước vận chuyển hàng hoá giữa những nước thành viên cũng tránh các ảnh hưởng hăng hái của buộc phải tự do hóa lao động ASEAN.

    Cảm ơn bạn nhiều nhé.