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I working on picking my next 40k army, tyranids and tau seem to stick more to me than the rest of the army's in 40k. I love the mobility and guns in tau, and I like the Large broods of gaunts that overrun everything in tyranids. But I cant seem to come to a decision between the two. $$$ is a factor and im not the best painter in the world, if someone could give me some insight on the subject it would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

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Bringer of the Apocalypse
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Nids are MUCH easier to paint if you don't have much confidence in your painting ability- The gaunts look great with just a wash over the basecoat and some highlights on the shells/chitin. Tau are a bit harder, as you need to mind those fine lines on the Firewarriors and Crisis armor plates.

Cost wise? The tau might be cheaper, as you usually need huge units of the Gaunts to have some survive the inevitable shooting phases...
 

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I can personally say that the nid's are cheaper than the tau mostly because you can pick up 2 battleforces and you have a cohesive fighting force. 'Nids are also pretty easy to paint, just a light color and a wash maybe with some color on the carapace.
 

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Both are pretty easy to paint but nids are easy and quick with washes and drybrushing. Modelling wise though Tyranids are harder if you're using Tervigons/T-Fexes or converting Hive Guard rather than paying for them whilst little to no converting needs to be done for Tau.

Both are very solid armies on the table-top and I recommend you read the How To Tau article in my sig as that might give you an insight on how Tau works. AbusePuppy's Tyranid review is also a good starting point for Tyranids.
 

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Both are cheapish to start.
A 500pts Tau force would just be the battle force minus the Devilfish and Marker Drone. A 500pts Tyranid would be the Battle force minus the rippers and adding in 1 Tyranid Prime(another warrior)
 

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Tau are cheap to start but if you want to go competitive then you need lots of devilfish and this can get expensive very quickly.
 

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Battle wise you're mixing apples and oranges here, Tyranids tend to be an assault army while Tau are shooting. Now, Tau are my first army and I personally find them easy to paint as most of them are all straight lines and all are a futuristic style as in a clean look which isn't too hard to achieve.
 
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