Vas'Quez Tau
The Tau Of Vas'Quez 4

     Shas'O Vas'Quez Suam'Por Savon Mont'yr

Before WarmRain (Suam'Por) became an experimental battlesuit commander, she originally served as a Fire Caste test pilot for a Tau Battlesuit Research and Development center. She was one of the many pilots that helped test the first XV22 Battlesuits to be constructed; she is special only in that she is one of the few that survived.

Although she is the designated leader of the Vas'Quez 4 Pre-Colonial Preliminary Hoofhold Expedition, she often finds herself at the nagging mercies of her Lesser Caste Noble Observer Etherial Cotillion - disgraced etherials that she has been put in the position of babysitting while they are in exile. Desperate to make something of her dubious opportunity, she is often thwarted in her efforts to impress the Tau High Command because of the many demands raised by her somewhat underqualified force.

While she has become somewhat used to her Gui'la programmed "Real Personality" A.I. subcommander, a shield drone that insists on being referred to as 'Leftenant Raa'Bit', and which imagines itself to be a bunny pooka from ancient Earth (the Etherial caste are always trying to find ways for humans who have joined the Tau Empire to integrate into Tau society...dammit), this is the least of her problems.

Her Drone squads demand time to play or they won't fight, her Pathfinder teams are both rail rifle nuts and refuse to even hold a markerlight, and the Kroot squad assigned to her are surly because "There is nothing to eat for Kroot on this planet... maybe Kroot eat Tau if Tau not provide good meat?", and those damn Etherials she has to babysit want to fight for her... hand to hand with the enemy.

Between trying to be an effective warrior and playing the part of everyone's (organic or not) mother, it's a hard life on the frontier.

But WarmRain is both intrepid and cheerful; she gets to wear an advanced experimental battlesuit, and she is in command. That's not a bad start for a young and inexperienced Tau.

Unfortunately, with the recent arrival of two new useless Etherials and the Battlesuit Commander they brought to replace her, she hardly ever gets to actually use her fancy, experimental suit... except  for show.

At least she likes to dress up.


About the Miniature:

Commander Warmrain is based off of the Commander Shadowsun model. To make her, I first carved down the rock pedestal at Shadowsun's feet, leaving only a pillar connecting to her right foot. Then I attached the arms at a new angle by doing a bit of filing mixed with generous amounts of green stuff to create arms at the right angle. Shield Drone antennae were used to give her tech 'wings' coming from her shoulders. I removed her hair entirely and made new hair, long and flowing down her back, entirely from green stuff. The Tau Symbol on her chest was covered with green stuff to make an Omnipitor-like dome. I entirely removed the weapon on her right hand and replaced it with an Airburster, which was carved down to fit, with more green stuff. Finally, a piece of sprue provided the targeting display on the top of the Airburster. As for the Airburster itself, it came without any gun holes, so I had to carve the front of the weapon entirely myself.

About the Army Card:

I got the idea for having nice Army Cards from playing Hasbro's minatures game 'Heroscape', which has just lovely unit cards that have all the rules for a unit right there on them.

With my memory as bad as it is, I really needed something better than the usual stat line and look things up in the book method employed by most W40K players. So I worked out my own original army cards for the game.

These Tau cards are tall and thin, with divisions that follow the style of the Tau Empire symbol. I use color on the stats to help make important things stand out; any extra wounds are even circled in red. I kept forgetting that some units could take more hits than others.

I choose to paint images of my miniatures, rather than use photographs, because I felt it added to the overall feel of the cards as art as well as tool.

I print my cards out on shiny, heavy photo paper. They work quite well.

I equipped WarmRain with the Airbursting Fragmentation Projector because I wanted a weapon that could counter the Eldar habit of laying down template weapons. I needed something like that myself, and the Tau have no psychic abilities. WarmRain can lay down a single large template of strength 4 damage with no saves allowed, and this is death to any enemy with a toughness of four or less.

That ST 8 melta fusion blast means that no vehicle is likely to survive an encounter with her.

The Multi-Tracker option was a no brainer; more shots means better for the physically weak Tau, and this device permits total unloading of all ordnance in one turn. Fairly sweet.

The only downside is that she is mutually exclusive with my other suited commander, Worthy Destiny. He also has an Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, and you are only allowed one such weapon in an entire army. So that means that these two can never work together on any mission... but they can pose together in a nice picture of everyone together, below.

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