Welcome to ATT and to 40k! Just to add my input (which may duplicate some others)
TautallyRadical wrote: - I've read about and watched the "commander spam" strategy, probably will be changed in the new codex? I'm not sure if I should wait to buy anything until the new codex drops. Remember, I am a complete new person, so I don't know much. Currently, I am thinking that I'll pick up the Start Collecting Box with the Fireblade Cadre and a Pathfinder Team. I love the idea of the markerlights. Is this a good way to start? I'm looking to make a 500 point army.
Depending on the load out of your crisis suits that should give you a good 500-600pt list. As a tip, if you and your friends are all starting armies, try doing a sort of “builder league”. Set goals for each month for models to get built and painted, and then play some games with them. It can be “paint up to 250pts consisting of at least 1 HQ and 1 Troops”, then maybe “up to 500pts including a elite or fast attack”, and so on. Having goals helps keep you all motivated.
- I saw that a lot of people magnetize their suits. Considering that I don't have many tools available, this sounds like an extremely difficult, dangerous, and expensive task. Do I need to magnetize to avoid future regret, or will all weapons (other than flamer) be atleast playable? (Note: I love aesthetics, but I also want a strong army that wins)
About the only weapons not worth taking on a crisis suit right now are the Airburst Frag Projector and the Burst Cannon, mostly because we have better units that do similar damage for fewer points (Fire Warriors and Gun Drones). Flamers are one of the better weapons when you learn how best to use them.
That said, Tau are probably one of the armies where magnetisation helps most, because of the sheer number of different load outs for our suits, so it's well worth doing. It isn't actually that hard or expensive to so. You'll want 3x1mm magnets for crisis suits. To get started you ideally want the following:
- A small hand screwdriver with interchanagble hex bits. This allows you to get a set of drill bits like these to drill holes of the right size https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hakkin-13-Piec ... 0185P43X6/
- (Optional) A pin drill. I use GW's (https://www.games-workshop.com/en-GB/Citadel-Drill
) though any small hand drill that can do 1mm holes will do. This is optional as you can get away with a 1.5mm pilot hole (most hex sets only go down that far) but a 1mm hole gives a bit more accuracy (plus it's useful for other things such as pinning models with bits of wire, though you shouldn’t need that when you're starting)
- Superglue. Plastic glue only works plastic to plastic, so for magnets you need superglue
- Some 3x1mm Neodymium magnets (strength N40 or better). You can get these from all sorts of places online and usually costs less than £5 for 50 magnets
All you do is drill a pilot hole, widen it with a 3mm bit, stick a bit of superglue in, and then push a magnet in until it’s flush. Only hard bit is remembering to check polarity so any gun can stick to any magnetised point on the model. There are plenty of guides on here for how to magnetise specific models, or feel free to ask in a new thread and we'll be more than happy to help. You also ideally want to magnetise before painting (before even fully assembling as it's easier to do on small parts than on a built model).
And if you aren’t confident enough yet you can try sticking the guns on with blutac to begin with so they're easy to swap out!
- What weapons are best to put on Crisis Suits? What I've seen so far is that the team should fill a role my army doesn't already cover. I'm into a strategy based on range and cover, so the firewarrior teams look really exciting to me, thus my initial thought was to suit them up with rocket pods and fusion blasters. Are cyclic ion blasters good, do fusion blasters work the same way on crisis suits as commanders, and should I wait until after the codex?
Fusion blasters and missile pods would work well against tougher units (but they do cost the most points). Cyclic Ion Blasters are reasonable, depending on your play style and taste, but they're hard to come by (you only get them in commander kits). And all weapons work the same on the commander, it's just the commander has a 2+ BS vs 4+ on crisis suits. All that is likely to change in that regard with the codex is weapons may cost more for a commander vs a crisis suit. However, you likely won’t have got your initial 500pts done before the new codex comes out so you should be fine.
- What paints are best for someone on a budget? I did my own research and saw that Vellajo paints received a lot of praise, but they don't look like that much of a savings. What about Reaper Master Series?
For the most part it doesn't really matter, in either cost or quality. For a beginner I'd always say go with GW/Citadel paints. They're easier to find and their paint system is really good. Unless you've had experience in miniature painting before you're not going to notice the differences enough. As you get more advanced you'll be able to branch out more and discover that certain colours are better from certain companies (e.g. Vallejo's whites are meant to be a lot better than GW's, but GW has some extremely good Yellows). Another bonus is you can more closely follow GW's excellent painting videos on YouTube, though even if you go for other brands I'd highly recommend watching the videos, especially the tip of the day ones, as they are invaluable to new and experienced painters alike!
Also, here are some important tips for painting:
1. Don't fully build your models before painting
. Some bits can be awkward to reach with a brush after (e.g the torso of a fire warrior if the gun is in the way). Try to build in sub assemblies so you can paint more easily, then assemble again later. Just remember, plastic glue doesn't bind against paint, so you either need to scrape paint off the contact points or use superglue instead
2. Always prime your model
. You want to spray a proper primer on your model before painting, as the paint doesn’t stick to the plastic properly directly. GW's Chaos Black and Corax White sprays work really well (basic rule of thumb, use black for dark colour schemes, white for light colour schemes). Just remember to do short, quick bursts about 6” or so away from the model. You don’t want to obscure any detail by spraying too much on
3. Thin down your paints
. No matter where you buy your paints from, they are not suitable to use directly out of the pot. You want to get some out onto a palette and then to thin it down a bit with water. You want it roughly the consistency of milk. This will take a while to perfect, and you'll find certain colours require more thinning down than others. But it will help you get a much nicer coat of paint on your minis.
And most importantly, always remember that you’re just starting out. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Don’t worry if you struggle with some aspect of painting. Don’t worry if you think “this could look better”. Everyone started where you are now, so just have fun.
Hope that all helps!