The Confused Shas'el -- A Discussion on Battlefield Role for Crisis Battlesuits

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Garacaius
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The Confused Shas'el -- A Discussion on Battlefield Role for Crisis Battlesuits

Post#1 » Oct 16 2017 12:39

Greetings,

I'm a new player, and while my passion is there, my command experience is almost non-existent. As a result, I'm not comfortable calling myself a Shas'o here, but it's my understanding that the rank of Shas'el exists between Shas'vre and Shas'o. Hence, the title of a confused Shas'el...

Overview
I have a basic, but likely wide-ranging, question regarding the difference between the battlefield use and the "paper use" of common T'au units such as Crisis Teams or Broadsides. Both, but especially the former, have different configurations that creates a sense of variety in role and strength and use. And yet, it seems only a handful of weapon and system loadouts are sanctioned during "serious" discussion, which removes sense of flexibility save in only a few already-well-defined roles.

Casual and Serious: Useful Distinction?
It is my hope to discuss the merits of this serious/casual distinction, identifying which loadouts are casual and which are serious, and then also discussing the intended or assumed role of each loadout if folks are willing to the heavy lifting here.

Do Opposing Forces Change the Discussion?
Perhaps we can touch on assumption of enemy forces as well, since a table of MEQ or a table of Ork Boyz are quite different. Do certain "casual" load-outs become less "casual" in the face of certain adversaries?

Does Playstyle or the Metagame Affect the Discussion?
Considerations for player style, opponent style, and the local metagame seem to matter quite a bit, but they aren't defined before many conversations about the merits of various loadouts. Is there a common, unspoken assumption that we're only talking about tournament environments unless otherwise noted?

Serious Loadouts
  • Triple Fusion
  • Triple CIB
  • Triple Flamer
  • Fusion, Fusion, Flamer
  • CIB, CIB, ATS

Conditional Loadouts

  • Triple Missile Pods
  • Missiles, Missiles, ATS
  • Missiles, Missiles, Flamer
  • Any Serious or Conditional plus a Drone Controller


Drones!
Finally, what about Drones? Gun only, Shield only, Marker only? Under what circumstances does one take any of these or some mix?

In any event, I hope to help facilitate the discussion here with some questions for clarity.

Thanks.

“Just one game,” they said and started to play. That was yesterday...

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Panzer
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Re: The Confused Shas'el -- A Discussion on Battlefield Role for Crisis Battlesuits

Post#2 » Oct 16 2017 12:55

Well right now you are just a "Shas" if you'd look under your name. :P

Casual and Serious: Useful Distinction?
It is my hope to discuss the merits of this serious/casual distinction, identifying which loadouts are casual and which are serious, and then also discussing the intended or assumed role of each loadout if folks are willing to the heavy lifting here.

Not really useful.
There's only "loadout is better at it's job than other" and "loadout is worse at it's job than other". In serious games, or how we call it "competetive", of course always uses the loadout that's best. In casual games it doesn't matter. At all. It's casual, take what you like regardless of how good it is.
Of course there are degrees inbetween. My group cares a lot about how good a loadout or unit is, but if we can't stand the competetive choice or really like the non-competetive choice we simply take what we like better for whatever reason we might do so.

Do Opposing Forces Change the Discussion?
Perhaps we can touch on assumption of enemy forces as well, since a table of MEQ or a table of Ork Boyz are quite different. Do certain "casual" load-outs become less "casual" in the face of certain adversaries?

It does. Sometimes. Since pretty much every list has a combination of different types of units and since weapons that are good against Marines most of the time are good against Guardsmen as well, it makes less of a difference than one might think.
Hence why we usually prefer the Cyclic Ion Blaster on Crisis. It's good against all kind of infantry and still decent against a bit tougher units.

Does Playstyle or the Metagame Affect the Discussion?
Considerations for player style, opponent style, and the local metagame seem to matter quite a bit, but they aren't defined before many conversations about the merits of various loadouts. Is there a common, unspoken assumption that we're only talking about tournament environments unless otherwise noted?

Metagame changes things in terms of what is needed in a list. It doesn't change what kind of loadout is more cost efficient. Cyclic Ion Blaster will always be more efficient than Burst Cannons which in return are more efficient than Airburst Fragmentation Projectors as long as their stats and cost remain the same. No matter what the meta or gameplay will be. The thing that may change is whether such a weapon is needed/desired however.


Serious Loadouts
Triple Fusion
Triple CIB
Triple Flamer
Fusion, Fusion, Flamer
CIB, CIB, ATS

That about sums it up for Crisis currently. though I'd add CIB, CIB, Flamer if you don't mind being within 8" or expect the enemy to close distances quickly.

Conditional Loadouts

Triple Missile Pods
Missiles, Missiles, ATS
Missiles, Missiles, Flamer
Any Serious or Conditional plus a Drone Controller

Imo Broadsides with Missile Pods are better (and they are still not exactly good for their points), however this is about Crisis loadouts so I guess we can agree on it being conditional...


Drones!
Finally, what about Drones? Gun only, Shield only, Marker only? Under what circumstances does one take any of these or some mix?

Gun Drones if your main reason to include some is damage, Shield Drones if your main reason to include them is to protect your unit.
Marker Drones...pretty much never unfortunately.

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Glarblar
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Re: The Confused Shas'el -- A Discussion on Battlefield Role for Crisis Battlesuits

Post#3 » Oct 16 2017 02:22

Garacaius wrote:Serious Loadouts
  • Triple Fusion
  • Triple CIB
  • Triple Flamer
  • Fusion, Fusion, Flamer
  • CIB, CIB, ATS

Conditional Loadouts

  • Triple Missile Pods
  • Missiles, Missiles, ATS
  • Missiles, Missiles, Flamer
  • Any Serious or Conditional plus a Drone Controller



The reason some loadouts are serious and others aren't used is in part b/c the platform you pay for (xv8) is too expensive for what it can bring. Here are some examples from conditional loadouts that don't work:

  • Triple Missile Pods - You waste the manta strike ability, and just take a broadside
  • Missiles, Missiles, ATS - as above, taking a broadside with ATS is much greater firepower as well
  • Missiles, Missiles, Flamer - say this in a tournament list, not sure if its good or not b/c it was a team tournament and the flamer is a very 'tech' choice
  • Burst Cannons - Inefficient when you compare to taking FW and the XV9
  • AFP - not enough shots and consistency, you do get the 'doesn't need to see and no cover' bonus but it just isn't worth it
  • Plasma Rifle - completely situational - Grade D at 12-24", and Grade B at <12" - Great Marines and Termies (T3-5 and Sv 3+ or 2+/5++)


Garacaius wrote:Drones!
Finally, what about Drones? Gun only, Shield only, Marker only? Under what circumstances does one take any of these or some mix?


Gun drones: XV8 only, use with or without a DC. I suggest pairing them with a XV25 team with a DC to get the maximum output from you XV8

Shield Drones: XV88 and Commanders. These guys make decent screens for your COs when they drop in. They need to be killed directly before anyone can target your QFB CO. They also provide nice ablative wounds for your XV88. Since the only things going to be picking them off are probably 48" High S low AP weapons, the shield drones are a nice place to put those without fear of them dying

Marker Drones: People don't like them, but I'm convinced that if you get a vanguard bubble of QFB CO, XV8, and XV25/Drone Controller you can create a potent unit. The Gun Drones from the XV8 and my sticking 4 marker drones between the XV25 and CO you get an additional 4 ML. It also helps to convince the enemy that targeting your Pathfinder squads will not get rid of your ML.

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Panzer
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Re: The Confused Shas'el -- A Discussion on Battlefield Role for Crisis Battlesuits

Post#4 » Oct 16 2017 02:27

Glarblar wrote:
Gun drones: XV8 only, use with or without a DC. I suggest pairing them with a XV25 team with a DC to get the maximum output from you XV8

Shield Drones: XV88 and Commanders. These guys make decent screens for your COs when they drop in. They need to be killed directly before anyone can target your QFB CO. They also provide nice ablative wounds for your XV88. Since the only things going to be picking them off are probably 48" High S low AP weapons, the shield drones are a nice place to put those without fear of them dying

Gun Drones are very much worth it on their own as well.

Shield Drones are gold in a Flamer Crisis squad.

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Garacaius
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Re: The Confused Shas'el -- A Discussion on Battlefield Role for Crisis Battlesuits

Post#5 » Oct 16 2017 03:04

Well right now you are just a "Shas" if you'd look under your name.


I didn't even see that! I was just going by what fluff I could glean.

Not really useful.
There's only "loadout is better at it's job than other" and "loadout is worse at it's job than other". In serious games, or how we call it "competetive", of course always uses the loadout that's best. In casual games it doesn't matter. At all. It's casual, take what you like regardless of how good it is.
Of course there are degrees inbetween. My group cares a lot about how good a loadout or unit is, but if we can't stand the competetive choice or really like the non-competetive choice we simply take what we like better for whatever reason we might do so.


I think this is a very important point, at least for future conversations on this forum. When stated like this, it doesn't put people on their heels and get defensive about what may be a sub-optimal choice. It's more about how to approach the topic than whether someone feels smarter or better than the other. Very, very useful for constructive discussions. Thank you!

“Just one game,” they said and started to play. That was yesterday...

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StealthKnightSteg
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Re: The Confused Shas'el -- A Discussion on Battlefield Role for Crisis Battlesuits

Post#6 » Oct 17 2017 04:50

I would add "Flamer, Flamer, FB" to the serious load out list.
I have used that setup to great effect

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Panzer
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Re: The Confused Shas'el -- A Discussion on Battlefield Role for Crisis Battlesuits

Post#7 » Oct 17 2017 05:13

I was thinking about that as well, but I don't think it's a very strong loadout.

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StealthKnightSteg
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Re: The Confused Shas'el -- A Discussion on Battlefield Role for Crisis Battlesuits

Post#8 » Oct 17 2017 05:17

Panzer wrote:I was thinking about that as well, but I don't think it's a very strong loadout.


I think that 3x Flamers (on 3 XV8's) is too little to make a good impact on bigger infantry units (10+) and 6 would do the job nicely to get enough kills while 9 is overkill. So while you are within 8" for your targets you might as well make some use of the FBs extra damage posibilty by targetting a nearby vehicle or elite unit.

Why do you consider this as a not very strong loadout?

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deathboon
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Re: The Confused Shas'el -- A Discussion on Battlefield Role for Crisis Battlesuits

Post#9 » Oct 17 2017 06:59

StealthKnightSteg wrote:
I think that 3x Flamers (on 3 XV8's) is too little to make a good impact on bigger infantry units (10+) and 6 would do the job nicely to get enough kills while 9 is overkill. So while you are within 8" for your targets you might as well make some use of the FBs extra damage posibilty by targetting a nearby vehicle or elite unit.

Why do you consider this as a not very strong loadout?

This brings up an excellent point, I think frequently people forget that optimal and powerful are not always synonymous. While I like overkill as much as the next guy, too much overkill is every bit the waste of points that not getting the job done is. Over investing in one thing can lead to deficiency in other things.

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Panzer
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Re: The Confused Shas'el -- A Discussion on Battlefield Role for Crisis Battlesuits

Post#10 » Oct 17 2017 07:43

Likewise three Fusion Blaster at BS4+ won't do much against anything you'd want to shoot them at. I'd rather damage a big target properly and do less against chaff where I can just endure and, if I have to, fall back than the other way around.

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Arka0415
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Re: The Confused Shas'el -- A Discussion on Battlefield Role for Crisis Battlesuits

Post#11 » Oct 17 2017 07:56

StealthKnightSteg wrote:
Panzer wrote:I was thinking about that as well, but I don't think it's a very strong loadout.


I think that 3x Flamers (on 3 XV8's) is too little to make a good impact on bigger infantry units (10+) and 6 would do the job nicely to get enough kills while 9 is overkill. So while you are within 8" for your targets you might as well make some use of the FBs extra damage posibilty by targetting a nearby vehicle or elite unit.

Why do you consider this as a not very strong loadout?


The thing with the 2xFB+1xFlamer build is that the Flamers are not the main 'function' of the build. The idea is to keep a solid number of Fusion Blasters while also maintaining decent overwatch capability and keeping points low. But really, the build is just 2xFB with an added whatever-you-want tacked on to it. Sure you could replace the Flamers with Shield Generators, Multi-Trackers, or even Velocity Trackers, but all of these have their own downsides. Shield Generators seem redundant when the squad packs Drones, Multi-Trackers are made irrelevant by Markerlights, and Velocity Trackers are really situational.

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StealthKnightSteg
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Re: The Confused Shas'el -- A Discussion on Battlefield Role for Crisis Battlesuits

Post#12 » Oct 17 2017 08:00

True, Panzer, but it is also something in syngery with (my current) armylist and how I operate it. I usually have a QFB commander nearby and when he targets a big target I will have ML's on it (atleast 1) and if he wasn't able to finish it off then I have the chance to still do so with the XV8's that also still have the benefit of the ML(s) increasing their chance to do so succesfully. This all takes carefull planning in which sequence you do things ofcourse.

Sometimes I do it the other way around also.. trying to take down a hurt elite / heavy target with my XV8's to open up another target for my QFB or so I would know if I still have to commit some of his FB's to kill the hurt target.

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Arka0415
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Re: The Confused Shas'el -- A Discussion on Battlefield Role for Crisis Battlesuits

Post#13 » Oct 17 2017 08:36

Here's my take on viable XV8 builds:

Competitive Builds:
2x CIB + 1x ATS (All purpose anti-infantry and anti-vehicle)
2x Fusion Blaster + 1x Flamer (Anti-vehicle alpha strike)
3x Flamer (Anti-infantry alpha strike)

Situational Builds:
3x CIB (Slightly inefficient for its cost)
2x CIB + 1x Flamer (Good overwatch defense but lower firepower)
2x Missile Pod + 1x ATS (Very inefficient for its cost, but the only good ranged XV8 build)
3x Plasma Rifle (The only good Plasma Rifle build)
3x Fusion Blaster (Very powerful but very expensive)

Non-Viable Builds:
Basically everything else

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StealthKnightSteg
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Re: The Confused Shas'el -- A Discussion on Battlefield Role for Crisis Battlesuits

Post#14 » Oct 17 2017 09:41

Arka0415 wrote:Here's my take on viable XV8 builds:

Competitive Builds:
2x CIB + 1x ATS (All purpose anti-infantry and anti-vehicle)
2x Fusion Blaster + 1x Flamer (Anti-vehicle alpha strike)
3x Flamer (Anti-infantry alpha strike)

Situational Builds:
3x CIB (Slightly inefficient for its cost)
2x CIB + 1x Flamer (Good overwatch defense but lower firepower)
2x Missile Pod + 1x ATS (Very inefficient for its cost, but the only good ranged XV8 build)
3x Plasma Rifle (The only good Plasma Rifle build)
3x Fusion Blaster (Very powerful but very expensive)

Non-Viable Builds:
Basically everything else


Nooooooooo... the great Arka0415 thinks my load out as non-viable ... sad panda

But why 9 flamer on a 3 XV8 unit? I ask myself. So calculating:
That's 32 / 33 attacks on average at S4 on Infantry mostly T3, so wounding on 3's -> 19 wounds most likely saving on 5's -> dealing about 11-12 damage, and most infantry will be 1 wound models, so removing 11-12 models. On a unit 10 strong this is already overkill, as you did 1-2 more damage that can't go anywhere. On bigger units 15-20 that is still a heck of an impact and with Morale that unit most likely will be gone.

6 Flamer:
21 attacks on average -> 12/13 wounds -> 7-8 damage. Morale will do the rest on the 10 man unit and will diminish a 15-20 strong unit severly (with morale).

I guess it will also have to do with how big your games are.. I play at 1k points stil (as I haven't got any more models) and I almost never will encounter 15-20+ units in that meta. So I have nearly no need for 9 flamers.

But besides that, when your infantry targets dry up (and at 1k points that can happen pretty quick) you still have something to work with.

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Panzer
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Re: The Confused Shas'el -- A Discussion on Battlefield Role for Crisis Battlesuits

Post#15 » Oct 17 2017 10:15

StealthKnightSteg wrote:
Arka0415 wrote:Here's my take on viable XV8 builds:

Competitive Builds:
2x CIB + 1x ATS (All purpose anti-infantry and anti-vehicle)
2x Fusion Blaster + 1x Flamer (Anti-vehicle alpha strike)
3x Flamer (Anti-infantry alpha strike)

Situational Builds:
3x CIB (Slightly inefficient for its cost)
2x CIB + 1x Flamer (Good overwatch defense but lower firepower)
2x Missile Pod + 1x ATS (Very inefficient for its cost, but the only good ranged XV8 build)
3x Plasma Rifle (The only good Plasma Rifle build)
3x Fusion Blaster (Very powerful but very expensive)

Non-Viable Builds:
Basically everything else


Nooooooooo... the great Arka0415 thinks my load out as non-viable ... sad panda

But why 9 flamer on a 3 XV8 unit? I ask myself. So calculating:
That's 32 / 33 attacks on average at S4 on Infantry mostly T3, so wounding on 3's -> 19 wounds most likely saving on 5's -> dealing about 11-12 damage, and most infantry will be 1 wound models, so removing 11-12 models. On a unit 10 strong this is already overkill, as you did 1-2 more damage that can't go anywhere. On bigger units 15-20 that is still a heck of an impact and with Morale that unit most likely will be gone.

6 Flamer:
21 attacks on average -> 12/13 wounds -> 7-8 damage. Morale will do the rest on the 10 man unit and will diminish a 15-20 strong unit severly (with morale).

I guess it will also have to do with how big your games are.. I play at 1k points stil (as I haven't got any more models) and I almost never will encounter 15-20+ units in that meta. So I have nearly no need for 9 flamers.

But besides that, when your infantry targets dry up (and at 1k points that can happen pretty quick) you still have something to work with.

Well horde units are usually way more than just 10 models and if you happen to face regular infantry with a 4+ save or even just Marines with T4 Sv3+ you'll need those additional flamer.

And yes 1k games are obviously different than the normal games at ~2k points.

Nymphomanius
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Re: The Confused Shas'el -- A Discussion on Battlefield Role for Crisis Battlesuits

Post#16 » Oct 17 2017 03:39

Does anyone rate burst cannons at all for crisis suits?
A squad of 3x3 will do 7.8 wounds to GEQ vs 7.4 for CIB and is 72 points cheaper which coincidentally would be another suit so for same points you get 10.5 wounds vs 7.4 and an extra body.

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Arka0415
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Re: The Confused Shas'el -- A Discussion on Battlefield Role for Crisis Battlesuits

Post#17 » Oct 17 2017 07:43

StealthKnightSteg wrote:Nooooooooo... the great Arka0415 thinks my load out as non-viable ... sad panda

Ah, sorry about that! No hard feelings! The problem I see is that the build is mainly designed to hit hordes with six Flamers, but the "backup" weapon actually costs more than the main loadout. While the may certainly be situations where it can be used, I just don't see them appearing in many games that could justify the balance of points.

That's not to say that the build is bad though! If it works for your meta, that's good! It just might not be a viable recommendation for many other people.

StealthKnightSteg wrote:But why 9 flamer on a 3 XV8 unit? I ask myself. So calculating:
That's 32 / 33 attacks on average at S4 on Infantry mostly T3, so wounding on 3's -> 19 wounds most likely saving on 5's -> dealing about 11-12 damage, and most infantry will be 1 wound models, so removing 11-12 models. On a unit 10 strong this is already overkill, as you did 1-2 more damage that can't go anywhere. On bigger units 15-20 that is still a heck of an impact and with Morale that unit most likely will be gone.

6 Flamer:
21 attacks on average -> 12/13 wounds -> 7-8 damage. Morale will do the rest on the 10 man unit and will diminish a 15-20 strong unit severly (with morale).

In my view, weapons like Flamers need to be taken as backup (on 2xFB suits or maybe classic 2xMP suits) or spammed to maximize damage on the gamble of getting so close to enemy forces. Plasma Rifles are the same way- there's a good amount of risk involved, so going "all in" and dealing a heavy blow is a good way to mitigate that risk.

-

Nymphomanius wrote:Does anyone rate burst cannons at all for crisis suits?
A squad of 3x3 will do 7.8 wounds to GEQ vs 7.4 for CIB and is 72 points cheaper which coincidentally would be another suit so for same points you get 10.5 wounds vs 7.4 and an extra body.

Burst Cannons are interesting. They provide an amusingly high amount of firepower for their points cost, but the issue is that we can get that kind of firepower... really, anywhere else. Fire Warriors, Gun Drones, and XV9s offer similar firepower with greater points efficiency. Also, on the math side of things, these are the numbers I got. #1 is 3xCIB, #2 is 2xCIB+ATS, and #3 is 3xBC.

Shooting vs. GEQ
#1. 9.4 wounds
#2. 7.5 wounds
#3. 8.0 wounds

Shooting vs. Necron Warrior
#1. 6.0 wounds
#2. 5.0 wounds
#3. 6.0 wounds

Shooing vs. MEQ
#1. 4.5 wounds
#2. 5.0 wounds
#3. 4.0 wounds

Shooing vs. TEQ
#1. 5.0 wounds
#2. 5.0 wounds
#3. 2.0 wounds

At the end of the day, the CIB may be more expensive, but it (a) offers versatile firepower that can engage almost any target, and (b) unique shooting profiles found on few other units.

By comparison, for the price of a 72-point 3xBC XV8, you could just buy 9 Gun Drones, which put out 36 shots, getting as many hits as the XV8 get shots!

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Panzer
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Re: The Confused Shas'el -- A Discussion on Battlefield Role for Crisis Battlesuits

Post#18 » Oct 18 2017 01:10

Burst Cannons have the same problem as always. Why would you take them? Our Troop section is full with S5 shooting, all our Vehicles have S5 shooting by default, Gun Drones are simply, etc.
The only units where I can see Burst Cannons being viable are Ghostkeels for the classic ATS dakkaKeel, Stealth Suits because they don't have other options and can still take ATS, and the Stormsurge because it's just a tertiary weapon anyway and he already makes good use of ATS for his other weapons.
Oh and Piranha to keep them cheap I guess.

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