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View Full Version : The Patient Hunter review (Joe Parrino, ebook)



MiyamatoMusashi
11-04-2013, 12:12
Didn't see any advertising from Black Library about this, it's not even listed under new ebook releases as far as I can tell, but if you do a search for it you can buy it.

...don't.

The entire book could be rephrased as "a tank died. Another tank died. Another tank died." Repeat ad nauseum. There is absolutely no threat to the central Tau character (a Riptide pilot), he doesn't have to overcome any challenges, there is never any sense of suspense whatsoever, beyond that by the end of the story all the tanks will be dead and the Riptide will be alive. There's barely any plot, just a series of descriptions of tanks exploding, following by the obligatory (and entirely vacuous, though mercifully brief) scene with a trio of Fire Caste Tau pondering why the Gue'la are too stupid to accept The Greater Good.

It doesn't even match the fluff. Riptides aren't supposed to be tank killers, not judging by the designer's notes in White Dwarf anyway. I'm not going to criticise this story for contradicting the unit options in the Codex (is it feasible that some Riptide, somewhere in the galaxy, is armed with a Railgun, even though the Codex doesn't provide that option...? Yes it is) but since the story features a new unit you'd think they'd try to at least establish a consistent theme for it. Riptides are supposed to be valiant heroes of the Tau piloting these experimental, dangerous, almost self-destructive battlesuits, to selflessly draw fire away from their comrades; there's a story to be told there, about sacrifice and a greater purpose. This story, though, portrays them as indestructible combinations of (old-style Railgun-equipped) Broadsides, Stealth Suits, Crisis Suits and Knights/Titans all rolled into one. Almost as though the author wrote the story before knowing anything about the new unit and betting there was going to be a big suit in the new book and just wanted to write a story about awesome big robots, then filled in the word "Riptide" just before submission. Taking on fifty Leman Russes and a Baneblade? It's so easy! Every shot is perfectly accurate (one goes down the barrel of a Battlecannon), every hit is a kill (yep, even on front armour), every return shot bounces off an apparently-infinite-supply of shield drones... it's just embarrassingly bad.

There is zero insight into the Tau military (beyond "big robots are teh awesome") or wider culture, and only the most facile, uninteresting take imaginable on followers of the Adeptus Mechanicus. The only redeeming feature in the whole story is that it was short enough I was able to make it to the end without giving up, took about 20 minutes to suffer my way to its conclusion (something I'd normally consider too short for 1.50). Cannot possibly recommend.

shadowhawk2008
11-04-2013, 14:04
This is a short story? They don't really do any marketing for these unless its HH.

MiyamatoMusashi
11-04-2013, 15:46
Not even a release email, though.

I only heard about it either here, Facebook or ATT (don't remember which). And it doesn't show up on the New Ebooks page even.

OsirisVM
11-04-2013, 16:06
I'm sorry but I would have to disagree with you there.

The Environment of the story was dark and full of smoke and other substances, the Riptide can be equipped with an Ion Accelerator which can kill tanks AND has quite a long range.

Also this was probably written when no one knew what the riptide would be about and the author, as he is not well known would probably not had much if any material to go by as thats how games workshop/ Black Library do things, so I think it was a pretty decent story for an author going in blind.

Also it is a short story, do you really think that the author can go into any detail of the background of the Tau in any great detail if any? BL tend to say to new authors "we need you to write about this"

Soul Hunter
11-04-2013, 22:37
I didn't think this story would be any good. It smacked far too much of advertising the new Riptide kit. Good to see I was right.


SH

shadowhawk2008
12-04-2013, 03:52
And what's wrong with a story advertising a new kit? Does that imply that it is automatically bad or something? That's a completely ridiculous belief, if its that.

Anakwanar
12-04-2013, 07:44
The writing was normal - but the whole thing about the indestructible tau is so boring, :shifty: Again and again the tau empire is shown as a big boss. Really, after Shadowsun and this:mad: i want for Guilliman to stop playing being dead and purge this blue apes ones and for all. Really guys - after reading the new codex 6th edition - the only opinion could be - that the tau hasnt lose any conflict, they are scarier then tyranids and simply cannot be stopped in their expanding.
After such ideas - my friends wants to stop playing W40K.

Sqallum
12-04-2013, 09:36
The writing was normal - but the whole thing about the indestructible tau is so boring, :shifty: Again and again the tau empire is shown as a big boss. Really, after Shadowsun and this:mad: i want for Guilliman to stop playing being dead and purge this blue apes ones and for all. Really guys - after reading the new codex 6th edition - the only opinion could be - that the tau hasnt lose any conflict, they are scarier then tyranids and simply cannot be stopped in their expanding.
After such ideas - my friends wants to stop playing W40K.

I haven't read the new codex yet... is their background ridiculous?

shadowhawk2008
12-04-2013, 09:42
I haven't read the new codex yet... is their background ridiculous?

Not from what I've heard. A lot more races have been added to the lore, some of the previous lore has been... refined and explained further, new units added, that kind of thing. This is the first time I'm reading of the Tau Codex as being "TAUS ARE DA BEST.... WTF".

Soul Hunter
12-04-2013, 10:16
And what's wrong with a story advertising a new kit? Does that imply that it is automatically bad or something? That's a completely ridiculous belief, if its that.
Because it was a brand new and unheralded short story focusing on the major new Tau kit by an unknown author. Of course I assumed that it would suffer from "Codex Syndrome," making the Riptide mega-awesome and unkillable to convince people to buy one. And I was right.

50 Leman Russ tanks and a Baneblade? One Riptide kills all them. No. Not even a Warhound Titan could pull that off without taking some serious wounds.


SH

MiyamatoMusashi
12-04-2013, 11:27
Because it was a brand new and unheralded short story focusing on the major new Tau kit

Not even just that - linking to the purchase page on the GW site, from the BL page, as well. How many BL releases do that?

Anakwanar
12-04-2013, 12:56
50 Leman Russ tanks and a Baneblade? One Riptide kills all them. No. Not even a Warhound Titan could pull that off without taking some serious wounds.

- My point exactly.
As for the Codex - every Tau O-shase and Commander in chief is a hero who hasnt done a mistake in his career. Every strategy could be changed on a fly (tyranids drooling in awe:eek:). Riptide Hunter cadre squashing all defenses of the MAJOR HIVE (with def silos, laser broccades etc. etc.). Orcs shown as imbeciles near the glories TAU. Their armor and weapons are shown as a marvel and da best in da universe. So - yes - everything about TAU this few months - its a planned lazy merchandise campaign. :cries:

Horus38
15-04-2013, 18:18
I haven't read the new codex yet... is their background ridiculous?

The Tau codex has excellent and cleanly presented fluff. Do not let anything from BL put you off on that.

Not sure why anyone in this thread is taking the "OMG-TAU TOO STRONK IN FLUFF" approach. The new codex details their defeat during the Zeist campaign, Hive fleet Gorgon running amok, at least one world being lost to the Necrons, etc.

Fen
15-04-2013, 20:18
From what i got,the thing that has some people irked is that the whole zeist campaign is painted as a "we'll let you this one so we can win somewhere else"

Not sure if it's true,i've not read the new tau codex yet,but that's what i picked up

Horus38
15-04-2013, 20:49
From what i got,the thing that has some people irked is that the whole zeist campaign is painted as a "we'll let you this one so we can win somewhere else"

Not sure if it's true,i've not read the new tau codex yet,but that's what i picked up

It is portrayed as part of Shadowsuns larger strategy on that front against the Imperium, but it is very much a defeat regardless (if in doubt simply re-read the original fluff on it from the Space Marine codex). This is the Tau codex after all, it should highlight their strengths and intellects. That their defeats are cataloged as well is a sign of a comprehensive fluff history to me. If you want more of the Tau getting duffed up on go read their stories from the Dark Eldar and Tyranid codexs.

Anakwanar
17-04-2013, 08:52
From what i got,the thing that has some people irked is that the whole zeist campaign is painted as a "we'll let you this one so we can win somewhere else" - exactly. and not only that. The whole superior tau ..... Now after the introduction of Riptide which are understructible, what would happen? Everyone go to the Greater Good? Tank company wasnt been able to breached shield of just one. So thats it then - everyone convert to playing tau:mad:

MiyamatoMusashi
17-04-2013, 11:12
Dude, you really should get off your high horse. We get it. You don't like Tau. But one really, really terrible story about an indestructible Riptide (that wasn't even advertised, and is really, really terrible) isn't a sign of some great conspiracy within GW about how they want everyone to sell their Space Marines and start playing Tau now. It's just a bad story, not the sign of the coming Taupocalypse.

Horus38
17-04-2013, 23:15
Dude, you really should get off your high horse. We get it. You don't like Tau. But one really, really terrible story about an indestructible Riptide (that wasn't even advertised, and is really, really terrible) isn't a sign of some great conspiracy within GW about how they want everyone to sell their Space Marines and start playing Tau now. It's just a bad story, not the sign of the coming Taupocalypse.

Quoted for truth. There's plenty of instances in other fluff stories where large numbers of IG tanks/columns are destroyed without putting up much of a fight by an enemy with some combination of superior firepower/speed/technology.

Valrak
18-04-2013, 14:05
I enjoyed it, recommend it for anyone.

SpaceTiger
19-04-2013, 14:45
I enjoyed it, recommend it for anyone.
OP disagrees :p

MadDokta
19-04-2013, 20:15
I read this review and I went into the short story with low expectations, but I found that it wasn't bad story actually. Yes, short on plot and pretty just bolter (railgun?) porn, but it was written well overall and I didn't find myself hating it.

And it's not one Riptide taking on 40 or so tanks, but a squad of thee Riptides actually. There's a subtle line the by the Baneblade boss where he says that the Riptide on the vid-screen doesn't look like the one he saw earlier, and in the end it's revealed to be a group of them working as a well-oiled team. The Riptides were pretty much acting like predators, stalking the tanks and quickly taking them out while they were alone. It wasn't one Riptide just suddenly leaping down in the middle of a tank company and blowing them apart without breaking a sweat. Yeah, near the end of the story, the Riptide boss takes on four Leman Russes at once, but he does acknowledge that he's getting shot and he needs to end the battle quickly. So not the completely one-sided fight that MiyamatoMusashi makes it out to be, but I do understand where his complaints are coming from.

As a massive Tau fan though (they're my favourite 40K faction), I'm just glad that the Tau are even getting featured and aren't being portrayed as an incompetent force that just gets wiped by the good guys like so often happens...

MiyamatoMusashi
22-04-2013, 11:44
Oh, well... so long as the Riptides are only outnumbered fifteen to one instead of fifty to one, that makes everything completely OK.

There being three instead of one didn't seem worth mentioning in the OP as it wasn't a factor in my criticism. My criticism is entirely based around the fact that there is nothing to this story except a seemingly endless shopping list of marginally different ways for tanks to explode. No plot, no character development, no twists, no threat to the hero(es), no memorable moments, no insight into Tau military or culture, no wider consequences outside the battle described, and the Riptide as portrayed in this story has nothing whatsoever to do with the stated role of the Riptide in the fluff and the designers' notes. It's just an indestructible invincible tank killer, apparently; no mention of the kensei concept, or the nova generator, or the sacrificial acceptance of the pilot; just a big robot you can't destroy and can't stop it killing you. What's interesting about that? If this story is the best that can be made of that concept: absolutely nothing.

Jason_kharo
20-05-2013, 16:44
Try his new one. It's rather good.

DarkChaplain
27-05-2013, 20:32
Just finished the story, and it was definitely not even half as bad as it was made out to be on this thread.

Sure, the Tau have a high kill-count by the end of the story, but I think Abnett has done worse with his Tanith vs Chaos Marines. I can certainly see why one might not enjoy it, or might even take offense by the timing of the story and the obvious product placement.

But as a story with a very focused point to make? I enjoyed it. It depicted the Tau's Kauyon in a reasonable manner, and even though the amount of lost tanks might seem ridiculous, that is mostly due to the reader's ignorance until the wrapup.
It NEVER was just a single Riptide, that is just what the Imperials made of the situation, and through them the reader.


This was a challenge the gue’la could not ignore, not while he stood before him, the object of their wrath, of their emotion. Missiles thudded down into them, killing them. The gue’la did not note the direction they came from, only the destruction they wrought.

The Riptides were spread out throughout the city, picking off the tanks one by one. Heck, the point-of-view shas'vre even remarks that "Two had already fallen by his hand", when the reader has seen three tanks die before that line. That was the moment I knew there was more to it than one Riptide bringing down dozens of Imperial Guard tanks.

So no, "no insight into Tau military or culture" is a very, very wrong statement to make about this story. I can only advise to reading it again, and this time without trying to dislike it on its premise alone.

MiyamatoMusashi
29-05-2013, 16:39
I'm a Tau player. If I was "trying" to do anything, that would be like it, not dislike it.

If you think I just haven't read it closely enough, perhaps you can point out to me the part in the story where it talked about the Riptide pilot's heroic self-sacrifice just by piloting a machine that is likely to kill him from radition leaks? No? That wasn't mentioned? Oh. Then perhaps you can point out where it talks about the experimental ion engines at all? What's that, it doesn't? Oh. Ah... then at least you can point me at the bit about the Kensei concept, the one brave warrior in a Riptide taking the heat on behalf of his comrades. What, that isn't mentioned either? Then surely at least Riptides as lone killers was mentioned - but wait, no, because there's actually multiple Riptides killing all these tanks. At least Riptides are renowned in the Tau army for being focussed in an anti-tank role; except, no, they're not, they don't have any meaningful anti-tank weaponry at all, certainly nothing that can inflict a kill-shot on the front armour of a Leman Russ every single time it fires. (As I noted previously: the Riptide/s in this story carrying Railguns for some reason. I can believe some Riptide somewhere in the galaxy is so equipped, but that option is notably missing from the army list... just saying). Perhaps, then, it at least represents the Tau military working together as a combined-arms force, with infantry, vehicles, and above all else markerlight support making the disparate parts function together to form a cohesive role; but then in that case it wouldn't just be Riptides, would it?

No, sorry. I read it quite closely enough the first time and certainly have no intention of doing that again. Nothing in this story reflects the role of the Riptide in fluff, game terms, or according to the designers' notes, and there is nothing else representing the Tau but the Riptides. (Saying "but it's Kauyon" is so vague as to be useless - as bad as saying "but they have guns", well, no surprise there Sherlock). It literally reads as though the guy wrote a story before the Tau Codex was available to him, and made the assumption that the new book would feature a big battlesuit and wrote something about that; then just did a Ctrl+H to replace all occurrences of "ubersuit" with "Riptide". It is totally devoid of any connection to the unit, army or faction that the story purports to be about.

So then the story itself? Imperials: lose an entire armoured column, including at least one Baneblade (might have been two, I don't recall). Tau: lose nothing. Absolutely zero dramatic tension, cohesive narrative, character development, or indeed any justification whatsoever for expecting money in exchange for this nonsense. It's the level I'd expect of very bad bolter-porn-obsessed fan fiction... and saying "oh, but there was more than one Riptide, read it closer!" does exactly nothing to change that.

Anakwanar
30-05-2013, 20:11
MiyamatoMusashi - on that we agree 100%.
'Saying "oh, but there was more than one Riptide, read it closer!" does exactly nothing to change that', - right in the eye

Commander Puretide
25-06-2013, 20:41
Just read it. Sorry for the grave digging, but just wanted to throw my two cents in.

How the story itself written is... well, acceptable, I suppose.
All points by MiyamotoMusashi and Anakwanar are valid, I too noticed thoe oddities, like railgun-toting riptide, seemingly infinite supply of drones (at least 8 shield drones for 1 riptide), and a seeker missile one-shot killing a leman russ.
In theory, three riptides could take down about 6-9 leman russes, but only if they got close with their twin-linked fusion blasters, or a very lucky shots from their nova-cherged ion accelerators.
If you mix into the piture thefact, that it was dark, smokey and "oh teh imperial sensorz so primitive and crappy" thing, the might boost that number up thrice, so about 30 LR's max. Three Riptides in 3 on 1 battle will surely get baneblade, in close combat alone. But not the way Joe described it. I'm almost certain, that he didn't knew a thing about Tau before writing it. Just a list of names and terms they use, which he, also, misinterpret. What about him translating a term "mon'wern'a"(deceptive assault) as "killing blow"?

I'm next on to read "Shadowsun: Last of Kiru's Line", and really-really hope that it's nothing like this story.

Oh, and I'm also a Tau player, so you get the picture.