Harlequin2 wrote:So, if I've got this right, you guys would prefer a simple, but more canon-orientated naming system? Basically a parallel to the Living Tau Xenolexicon but with a list of all the canon XV8 names of the past with their loadouts? Then maybe tips on how you could make your own customised name based on canon trends? That could be an incredibly valuable resource for the website and Tau players as a whole, especially since a lot of that information is hard to find. I don't think Lexicanum even has most of it and I myself don't have the 3rd Edition Codex, the Forgeworld books or the Warzone books, so getting help from members that do might be necessary.
If this is the line of thinking then I'm definitely game.
You should probably track down a copy of the 3rd edition Codex if possible, since it's a fantastic resource and I feel it should be a key feature of every Tau enthusiast's bookshelf. However, the conventions for Crisis suit names comes from an article first published in White Dwarf issue 263 (US), or the White Dwarf issue for December 2001 (the third of the three White Dwarf issues that covered the original Tau release). It was later posted on the GW website, but when it was lost in the changeover to the later format of GW website ATT reposted it along with the other Tau background articles that had been on the old GW website. Thus, you can find the article in question here
in the Library subforum.
I outlined a lot of the general system in my previous post, but the nuts and bolts of it are as follows. The article looks at the Crisis suit doctrines of four major Septs - Vior'la, Sa'cea, Tau'n, and T'au. Each one has a different approach to Crisis team tactics, and each one has a slightly different system for naming Crisis suit loadouts.
Vior'la Crisis teams favour homogenous weapon choices, reasoning (as many of the more competitive Tau players do) that there is one optimal weapon for any given battlefield role, and thus by equipping as many of that weapon as possible they maximise the team's efficiency in that role. Vior'la Crisis loadout names reflect the effect these optimal weapons have in battle:
- The Death Rain configuration rains death
on the enemy from long range with missiles, hence the name Death Rain.
- The Sun Forge configuration uses multiple fusion blasters. The combined fire of these fusion blasters results in the target being consumed with nuclear fire, not entirely unlike the fusion reactions that forge suns
, hence the name Sun Forge.
- The Burning Eye configuration features multiple plasma rifles. The effect of their combined fire - especially in the dark - could end up looking like a baleful glowing eye, hence the name Burning Eye.
T'au Crisis teams tend to use loadouts of mixed but complementary weapons, linked together with multi-tracker for maximum firepower. Instead of weapon effects, T'au Crisis loadout names tend to reflect the nature of their battlefield mission:
- The Fireknife is the configuration of choice when fighting Space Marines (and presumably similar enemies). It is intended to cut through armoured heavy infantry formations like a burning hot knife, hence the name Fireknife.
- The Blinding Spear configuration was most famously used in battle against Tyranid splinter fleets from Hive Fleet Kraken, where the battlesuits were used to hunt down and destroy Tyranid synapse creatures. When used in this manner the configuration is intended to knock out the enemy's command/control and situational awareness capabilities, a bit like using a spear
to poke out an enemy's eyes and blind
them, hence the name Blinding Spear.
- The Soul Cleanse configuration is intended for pilots with confirmed battlesuit neurosis. It is meant to allow them to make significant contributions to the rest of their cadre in battle, up to and including sacrificing themselves for the Greater Good, and thus cleanse
their psyche or soul
in the eyes of their peers, hence the name Soul Cleanse.
Tau'n Crisis teams tend to combine the Vior'la approach with that of Sa'cea outlined below, preferring standardised loadouts of mixed weapons for greater flexibility. Like T'au, their configuration names tend to reflect their mission role most of the time, but can also act as a metaphor for weapon effects:
- The Brightwind configuration is a generalised multipurpose loadout able to combat any kind of enemy. It can be considered to sweep the battlefield clear like a bright wind
. Alternatively, the preponderance of energy weapons like fusion blasters, plasma rifles and burst cannons could be considered a bright wind
that blows away the enemy. Either interpretation leads to the name Brightwind.
- The Darkfall configuration is optimised for night fighting. Since it's meant for nighttime attacks, when darkness falls, it gains the name Darkfall. Alternatively, when deep-striking into a nighttime battle or powering into an attack at night, it could be seen as falling
into the dark
. Either interpretation leads to the name Darkfall.
Finally, Sa'cea Crisis teams as already mentioned favour mixed loadouts with a wide variety of weapons, on the logic that that way no matter what happens on the battlefield there will always be at least one team member with the right equipment for the situation. Sa'cea tends to take this philosophy a step further however, with pilots being encouraged to select equipment based on personal preferences rather than centralised doctrine. Combined with the lower number of Crisis teams fielded by the Sa'cea Fire Caste, this means that Sa'cea has no established system of configuration names. Instead Sa'cea Crisis teams are simply named after the battle they were used in and the team that used them in that battle.
When creating custom names it is therefore important to consider what Sept they might have come from, and what you want them to do in battle. Going by this, let's look at an example of one of the more popular 8th edition configurations - cyclic ion blaster Crisis teams.
A Crisis team loaded entirely with cyclic ion blasters matches the description of Vior'la doctrine, so the Vior'la method of naming loadouts after weapon effects could be a good place to start. According to real-life reasearch, particle beam weapons like the ion cannon and cyclic ion blaster would likely produce a lightning-like discharge when fired, so drawing on the imagery of thunder and lightning makes sense. This gives two examples of possible names:
- Thunder Storm
- Lightning Arrow
Alternatively, if you wish to use the pattern of mission role names (perhaps you have decided the configuration was instead created by another Sept that coincidentally also favoured homogenous weapon fits), then look to the cyclic ion blaster team's role as a general-purpose troubleshooter able to attack a wide range of targets with reasonable chance for success. Examples of names for this kind of all-rounder configuration could include:
- Arrow Rain
These are all only suggestions, but ideally they will highlight the general principles at work.