[Challenge 2016] Research and Development

General discussions about the hobby side to Tau & 40K.
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[Challenge 2016] Research and Development

Post#1 » Jul 31 2016 10:17


The field of battle is ever evolving. New threats rise to beset the empire from all sides.
It is only through dedicated efforts of research, development, and testing that the Tau can
stay one step ahead of their adversaries and expand the fledgling empire in a galaxy of turmoil.
The fleets and worlds of the Tau are scattered with with Fio engineers creating the next great prototype
and brave Shas commanders and test pilots putting these experimental technologies through the crucible of combat.

The challenge for this particular event is to create a prototype unit for compilation into a fan-created codex. The model(s) should be intended for use as an unofficial fandex unit and should represent their intended role on the battlefield. These models should be unique and stand out from existing Tau units.

Additionally, we would like to hear some fiction about this unit. Tell us about their design process, a recount of their first battle as a test unit, a comical mishap involving the unproven technology, or something of your own creation.

Each entry may consist of one custom unit and its associated rules and fluff.

The Rules:

- One custom unit (either of your creation, or of one of our included examples) for a fan-created codex.
- Your unit may fit any of the following force organization slots: HQ, Troops, Elites, Fast Attack, Heavy Support, or Fortification.
- No WIP threads are permitted during the challenge. We encourage all entrants to keep a log of their progress to post after the challenge ends.
- Entries consist of 2 codex pages which fit the templates below.
- Units will be judged based on their quality of conversion and painting, quality of fluff, and quality/balance of rules. It is recommended to try your unit in a game or two to help nail down its tactical ability.

Entry Templates:
Blank templates to construct your entry can be downloaded HERE
The size of the template should not be altered. The first page has a standard size and location of image, as well as location for a unit description, statline, and rules. The second page is open to use as seen fit with pictures and fluff about the unit. There is one document for Microsoft Word users, and one for LibreOffice users. Contestants should use one of these two office suites to craft their entry.
If you need help compiling your codex pages, simply ask and other users can help you. Send a PM to Calmsword, Kael'yn, or AgentArrow for help.

The challenge begins August 1st, 2016 and entries can be submitted up to September 30th, 2016.
Voting will be open from October 3rd for a period of 7 days.

Community Choice: The ATT community will vote on their favorite entries from among the legal submissions to determine 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.
1st place will receive one Barracuda AX-5-2 kit - courtesy of Mal'Caor
2nd place will receive a one-of-a-kind Arrow Pattern XV8 Crisis Battlesuit. Progress on this design can be tracked HERE.
3rd place will receive custom replacement sept symbols for their models - courtesy of Kael'yn

Judges Choice Award:
In addition to the standard voting, we are adding one new prize to the challenge this year. The 'Ui+ members of the site will deliberate and decide upon an entry which was not among the winning 3 entries, but which still merits a prize.
The 1st Judges Choice Award winner will receive one Tidewall Shieldline, Droneport, or Gunrig - courtesy of Czar Ziggy.
The 2nd Judges Choice Award winner will receive one TX4 Piranha kit - courtesy of Macknight.

Please submit your entry via the PM button below


Q: Is conversion permitted, if so how much?
A: Since we are creating custom units, conversion is not only allowed, but encouraged. The unit should be identifiable as that which is described in the rules and fluff on the datasheet. Aside from this, your imagination is the limit.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of entries?
A: Yes, since creating a whole new unit is a complex task, and we want to stress the quality of entries, we will accept only one entry per contestant.

Q: What about bases?
A: Any game-legal base is acceptable, but should be appropriately sized to the model it contains

Q: What if I enter a model that I built before the challenge started?
A: If you have not posted pictures of it yet, we cannot prove that I was built before the challenge started and it would be accepted as an entry. In the spirit of the competition though, it would be better to build something new.

Q: What about unit size? does it have to be a single model, or can it be a group of models?
A: Any unit composition is permitted, as long as it is reflected in the rules to match.

Q: What about flyers?
A: flyers are permitted as long as they fall into one of the permitted force organization slots

Q: Dedicated transports?
A: Dedicated transports are permitted in the rules, and can be included as part of the entry if they are also a prototype (simply adding a Devilfish to a squad does not count unless it is some form of experimental Devilfish). Alternatively, the dedicated transport itself could be your entry, in which case you would just create a codex entry for the transport.

Q: How about Lords of War?
A: Lords of War are considered outside the scope of this challenge and are not permitted.

Q: Can my entry really be Anything?
A: We have provided some example units for those who cannot settle on a custom unit of their own, but as long as it would be reasonably used by the Tau it could be anything from a new auxiliary, to a battlesuit squad, to a tank or AA platform. Avoid "wishlist" units. A Broadside with more guns may be a legal entry, but the lack of creativity means it is unlikely to be successful.

Q: I think GW should have put twenty railguns on the Hammerhead, can I just submit that?
A: We really want to stress creating something NEW rather than "fixing" what is already published in the Tau Codex. Wishlist entries will not be turned away unless we deem that they violate GW's IP policies, but they stand little hope of winning.

Q: I don't see anything about formations, can we make a custom formation instead?
A: Formations are outside the scope of this challenge and are not considered legal entries.

Q: Do I have to base my model(s)?
A: It is not required, but provides a more finished appearance which will likely help your chances of winning.

Q: Is any form of modelling permitted for conversions? i.e. 3D printing, greenstuff sculpting, etc.
A: Yes.

Q: Is any form of painting permitted? i.e. airbrushing or other techniques/tools
A: Yes.

Q: Does the unit have to be painted?
A: This challenge is intended to be a combination of modelling, painting, and fluff. An entry missing one or more of these aspects will be accepted but it is likely to severely hurt your chances of winning.

Q: Can we privately converse with another member of ATT, or another forum, or someone else outside about our project?
A: Yes. As long as it is not posted publicly, it is allowed to converse with others during the challenge. It is also permissible to show pictures privately to receive feedback.

Q: Can we use a piece of existing wargear to represent something else, for example a shield generator as a drone controller?
A: Yes, but it must be part of a conversion. Simply calling a shield generator a drone controller, or sticking an antenna on it is not enough. Make it look like it serves its intended purpose.

Q: Do members of the EU get extra time for delayed delivery?
A: No, this challenge was designed to accommodate delivery delays in its existing duration. Submissions will close on September 30th for everyone.

Q: Can my entry really be anything, as long as I can write the fluff and fit a force organization slot?
A: Yes, but models of excessive size or armament are discouraged. Infantry units, vehicles, battlesuits, fortifications, etc. are more in-line with the goals of this challenge.

Q: Are physical models required, or could I just submit rules and fluff?
A: Keep in mind that the first page of the template requires an image. Original artwork is an acceptable alternative to a physical model, but copied and pasted images found on the internet are not. Physical models are more likely to win than simple drawings, or other artwork, but are not required for entry.

Q: Are there any members prohibited from competing with which we could consult?
A: Any member can be consulted, even people outside of ATT (remember that public posts are prohibited). Any ATT member may compete, but several (myself included) are voluntarily not participating.

Q: Are we allowed to have other members make our entry for us?
A: While seeking help to create an excellent entry is acceptable, we prefer that each entry represent the skill of the entrant. Please use such forms of outside aid sparingly and responsibly.

Q: Are we allowed to use 3rd party models, like Puppetswar, Chapter House, or Wargame Exclusive?
A: It is acceptable to use 3rd party models as starting points or bits for conversion. It is not acceptable to simply use a 3rd party model in whole as an entry. We are stressing creativity and development of new ideas.

Q: Is it acceptable to include additional designer notes discussing intentions, tactics, and the unit's fit within the Tau army?
A: The first page of your entry must fit the template. The second page is yours to use as you see fit. No additional pages may be added. It is acceptable to use part of the second page for designer's notes, but keep in mind that this is not part of the judging criteria and reduces your available space for the criteria which is judged. It is best to seek an alternative such as wrapping your design intentions into the fluff, or posting them in a unit review topic after the end of the contest. Such notes can be included in an addendum at the end of the final fandex upon its compilation.

Q: Can our entry be technology which is only available to a specific sept or to the Farsight Enclaves?
A: Yes, but your fluff should include why the technology is not widespread

Q: ATT does not support file hosting, how can we submit our entry?
A: Entries need to be uploaded to an external hosting site such as Google Drive or Mediafire, and a download link needs to be sent to Agentarrow by PM. It is best to not only send your Microsoft/LibreOffice file, but also copies of your images in a single .zip or .rar package.

Example units:
Below is a link to example templates for 3 units created by ATT members for this competition. You can create models and fluff to fit these units, or create a unit of your own.
Example templates and resources - also includes blank templates.

A big thanks to all who helped make this challenge a reality. We couldn't have done it without everyone's help.

Contest guideline development:
Fio'O - Tael
Kor'Vre - Modelglue
Shas'Vre - Shasocastris
Shas'Vre - Jefffar
Shas'Vre - Das'Kyman
Shas'Ui - Czar Ziggy
Shas'Ui - Kakapo42
Shas'Ui - Mal'Caor
Shas'Ui - Agent00abe
Shas'Ui - Kael'yn
Shas'Ui - Calmsword

Prize support:
Shas'Ui - Mal'Caor
Shas'Ui - Kael'yn
Shas'Ui - Czar Ziggy

Shas'La - Macknight

Entry templates:
Shas'Ui - Kael'yn

Example unit rules:
Shas'Ui - Dal'yth Shas'len'ra
Shas'Ui - Kael'yn

Banner development:
Fio'O - Tael
Fio'Ui - LordDirk

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Posts: 1752

Re: [Challenge 2016] Research and Development

Post#2 » Aug 01 2016 01:02

My oh my.
This is something special.

Now I need to find a yet unused design space, acquire parts, get a decent paintjob (and I'm really bad at painting XD) and do it all within two months, while still keeping up wiht university tests.

My, I'm starting to have ideas already. too bad every single one of them is too silly to even consider.

The first and foremost question, what ISNT already in existence (or close enough.) and that is the hardest question of them all.

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Posts: 5657

Re: [Challenge 2016] Research and Development

Post#3 » Aug 01 2016 01:11

Indeed, I for one am itching already over having to wait till October!

Posts: 55

Re: [Challenge 2016] Research and Development

Post#4 » Aug 01 2016 02:29

I feel like a little kid in a huge candystore. allowed to pick anything I want in the store but just one item!

What to do? What to convert?!

So the sky is the limit? I can technicly make a huge gundam suite thingy? or a walking bridge or or .. a walking Sushi resturant?
Legit question though ..
I can create anything I want as long as I can fluff it and it fits into a unit slot?

Posts: 354

Re: [Challenge 2016] Research and Development

Post#5 » Aug 01 2016 02:30

Is it necessary I make a physical model to enter? Being rather poor I can't go buying models all willy nilly to do this. Not that I'm all that great at drawing or photo shopping either.

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Posts: 1752

Re: [Challenge 2016] Research and Development

Post#6 » Aug 01 2016 03:25

Question-are there any modelers around that are BARRED from participating, and as such can be consulted?

Also-named characters, legit?
Last edited by boomwolf on Aug 01 2016 08:41, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 23

Re: [Challenge 2016] Research and Development

Post#7 » Aug 01 2016 08:10

Jacket wrote:Is it necessary I make a physical model to enter? Being rather poor I can't go buying models all willy nilly to do this. Not that I'm all that great at drawing or photo shopping either.

I would like to second the whole 'physical model' question. While I like to think I could do it, I would be unable to complete the project within 2 months with all that is happening in my life. I could however dedicate time to drawing up a datasheet, and draw pictures of said model.

Other then that, this sounds awesome! I'm already trying to come up with ideas.

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Posts: 155

Re: [Challenge 2016] Research and Development

Post#8 » Aug 01 2016 10:12

Welp, guess my painting back log is going to stay back logged a fair bit longer...

This idea is sweet. I can't wait to get started.
----- Akul Contingent -----
Engagement Results 54-18-8

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Re: [Challenge 2016] Research and Development

Post#9 » Aug 01 2016 02:05

challenge accepted! I'm looking forward to my invention and my peers as well.
For the greater good!

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Re: [Challenge 2016] Research and Development

Post#10 » Aug 01 2016 02:46

Won't participate since I still don't like fandexes but I can't wait to see all those conversions and stuff. :D

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Re: [Challenge 2016] Research and Development

Post#11 » Aug 01 2016 04:52

So an entry consists of the template filled out with fluff, picture of the modeled and painted conversion, stats and so on and is then sent as a PM to Agentarrow before 30th of september to be part of the competition. or am I miss understanding how to submit ?

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Re: [Challenge 2016] Research and Development

Post#12 » Aug 01 2016 05:39

That is correct. I will have further instructions soon, but I don't expect anyone to submit yet.

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Re: [Challenge 2016] Research and Development

Post#13 » Aug 01 2016 06:51

:biggrin: sounds good. Somehow I feel that my wallet is going to be very empty for the next few months......

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Re: [Challenge 2016] Research and Development

Post#14 » Aug 01 2016 07:48

Can't wait to see the entries :)
Good luck everyone
Does this Railgun make me look fat?

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Re: [Challenge 2016] Research and Development

Post#15 » Aug 02 2016 01:19

Won't participate since I still don't like fandexes but I can't wait to see all those conversions and stuff

Ahhh just cobble something together anyway Panzer :D I'm going to work on something myself, but I am not an entrant; this has just spurred on me to finish a long......... idle model of mine.

- Tael.

PS. Long.........idle...(wipes dust off holosphere emitter, blows across the datasleeve)

I have a half-finished pet project from 2010 I may go back to. This got my creative juices flowing too.

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Re: [Challenge 2016] Research and Development

Post#16 » Aug 02 2016 02:55

Very cool concept for a challange! Coincidentally, I happened to find an interesting kit but I hadn't thought up any use for it. This challenge is perfect! I'm crossing my fingers it will arrive on time though.
Really looking forward to seeing the final book!

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Re: [Challenge 2016] Research and Development

Post#17 » Aug 02 2016 06:13

I also don`t like fandexes but I`ll try to participate just because I like converting.

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Re: [Challenge 2016] Research and Development

Post#18 » Aug 02 2016 07:22

I am neither a modeler or an artist, but I love writing rules. Alas I'll have to content myself with the judging.

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