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Small Tau Enclave allies query
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Old 29 Oct 2013, 02:04   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
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Default Small Tau Enclave allies query

Hey, so I am new to these forums and after much searching, I am still at a loss as to where to research next.

I've borrowed the Tau Codex and Farsight Enclave Sup', but no longer have them to hand - so I have been furiously researching online to answer missing queries. Sadly I have no current players at present and back-benched into modelling what I like that's viable as a list - my last games were some time ago indeed. So this is a 'rule of cool / model what I like/is legal' list query, and not a 'win at all costs'.

So with the FE:Sup' allowing Crisis suits as troops, I would really like to model a small allied detachment of pure mech suits that are viable as a rules-legal force. My primary army is BA Marines, consisting of lots of melta heavy assault troops, DC and all types of dreadnoughts, but no tanks or flyers for ranged death. Yes they aren't best of friends or most optimal, but this is a rule of cool desire

My initial thought is very basic:

Required...

HQ: Commander Farsight
.....Nice model, I am a little confused about being able to take him as part of an allied attachment? I'm still needing to read about his tactics.

Troops: 3x Crisis suits
.....I'm looking to run these with plasma and fusion with possible shield gen, unsure best options.

Optional...

HQ: O'Vesa + Ob'Lotai
.....I understand that these do not take up a force org choice and can be added even if within an allies attachment? O'Vesa would allow me to field two awesome models, Ob'lotai would allow me to make use of a broadside suit for variety of models.

Troops: 3x Crisis suits
.....I would run this second suit either as above, or possibly missile pods for variety.

Elites: Riptide
.....Awesome model, no idea on equipping this thing though tempted at the Ion Accelerator.

Heavy: Broadsides
.....Here's a point of contention I am researching more of, how many, and rail or missiles. Rail seems to have lost in this edition, but do I have enough variety to deal with all armour types?

Apart from their obvious weapon choices, I'm seriously at a loss with how best to drone these units up? I've been reading about a lot of different lists using the Enclave rules, but few to none regarding their use as a small allies detachment.

Your helpful insights or pointers to other threads that may have covered this topic would be very much appreciated please. Apologies for any 'replicating of threads', but I did use the search functionality and found little direct answers.
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Old 29 Oct 2013, 07:36   #2 (permalink)
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The key to crisis suits is that they fulfill the role you need them to. They are super flexible, since they can take just about any type of weapon your want and then take a bunch of gear that allows you to use that equipment to different ends again (anti-air, overwatch, multi-target shenanigans, etc.). What this means is that when you are looking to equip these guys, look to what your army needs to have more of. Need more elite firepower? Take plasma. Need more anti-tank? Take fusions. Need some anti-infantry? Burst cannons (or go balls to the wall and take some flamers). Need some light tank from miles away? Missile pods (likely both the most consistently reliable and underwhelming of the options).
A good rule of thumb though is to avoid mixing configurations. Keep a single goal in mind for your crisis team. The more diversified and swiss-army-knife-esque you try to make them, the more disappointed you will be with their performance.
As for the drones, while you don't have to take any at all, it's recommended you take at least 2 for leadership purposes. With these it's important to know the role your unit is playing. Is it a high priority target that will need protection from big guns (plasmas, fusions, sometimes missiles)? Shield drones! Is it a torrent of firepower unit that could do with a few more shots (burst cannons, flamers, sometimes plasma, sometimes missiles)? Gun drones! Is it sitting in the backfield supporting everything else in your army (missiles)? Marker drones!

The riptide's an absolute beast... as I'm sure you've seen. Go Ion Accelerator, I think you'll have more fun. Give it fusion blasters for some anti-tank.

Broadsides will not be able to give you proper defense against AV13+ that's not their job anymore. Take missiles, they are just straight up better in every way except monster hunting. Keep in mind, these are your allies, not the main army. It sounds like you've already got tons of melta to deal with the tough stuff anyways.

Hope that helped a little. It's late so I won't go into any more detail, but ask questions and I'll get back to you eventually.
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Old 29 Oct 2013, 19:43   #3 (permalink)
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The required headquarters slot does not have to be filled with Farsight. What that character does, is unlocks the various other characters listed below him in the supplement (the eight) Thus, none of these characters take up a force org slot, but their TAX in accessing them is having to take Farsight as well. Otherwise, the HQ slot can be filled by any generic HQ from the Tau Empire codex, as well as some characters. The only special characters that CANNOT be taken in a farsight detachment are Shadowsun and Aun'Va. Any of the others (Darkstrider, Ethereal, Cadre Fireblade, Crisis Commander, etc) can be taken, but they will not give you access to 'the eight'.

Essentially, Crisis suits for Tau can fill very much similar roles as terminator squads do as far as what they are meant to kill. They work best as small, special purpose teams designed to kill a particular type of target. Crisis suits trade off survivability for increased mobility, which makes them very dangerous but often more difficult to use successfully. The aforementioned survivability buffs (drones for ablative wounds, protection from leadership checks) are important if you have the points to make these squads expensive. While a cheap crisis team can do well, a few pieces of equipment and some drones can make them monsters against their specialized targets.

Carrelio's advice for Riptides and Broadsides are also sound, but here's something to keep in mind. Our battlesuits are some of our best sources for anti-vehicle and anti-everything support. While each type can overlap in terms of targets depending upon weapon loadouts, there is usually something one does better than the others.

Riptides when equipped with an ion accelerator are fantastic and MEQ / TEQ smashing. They are our Russ exterminator, our vindicator. The standard S7 AP2 Heavy 3 firing mode makes them solid against light vehicles, and the S8 AP2 Large Blast or S9 AP2 Ordinance lets them wipe infantry models off the board with ease. As secondary weapons, fusion blasters are great against vehicles of all types being melta, and the suit's smash ability being an MC can let them rip apart even heavy tanks, but only at close range.

Crisis Suits can be particularly effective against horde infantry when kitted out with burst cannons and given gun drones. With two BC's and two drones each, a full team can put out 36 shots at 18", 12 of those being twin-linked. An average of 18 - 19 hits with S5 can really put the hurt on GEQ's and other light infantry, though they will struggle against anything with a armor save above 5+. A team with plasma rifles make good up close MEQ / TEQ killers, but having to close to 12" to get the rapid fire bonus means a team kitted out this way HAS to wreck it's target on the first round of firing. With an average thrust move in the assault phase being 7", there is an absurdly narrow safe range to keep from being assaulted. Fusion blasters and missile pods are our go to anti-heavy and anti-light vehicle weapons, both being rather exceptional at their roles. If you find more often you'd rather your marines not have to run on top of a vehicle to kill it, a crisis team with these weapons could easily replace them in the role of vehicle protection.

If you'd like, message me and I can give you some ideas on good unit setups.
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Old 29 Oct 2013, 19:50   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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The whole eight thing has made me question the new rules...Are ICs now allowed to leave their bodyguard squad before its destroyed? If so, can they deploy seperately from their bodyguard?
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Always use Stealthsuits.

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Old 29 Oct 2013, 22:48   #5 (permalink)
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Wonderful responses, thank you both kindly - it's been a long time since I've had such thoroughly written replies!

Any list I run is likely to see 2x podded Fragioso dreads, and a group of assault and DC jump pack troops desperately making their way up the field to close in on CC. So anything that can assist with thinning out interfering troops and ranged weaponry like tanks will be ideal.

I'm thinking from your advice that some missile pods on the Crisis suits, and missile setup Broadsides, with the Ion cannon on the Riptide would be the best route to start with, making marker and shield drones a good call. This should give me plenty of ranged support, but should I give the Crisis suits a fusion cannon for additional tank capability?

Last major question then - how to run the Farsight Commander given that he is more melee oriented, or is he there in case you are assaulted and to assist with your crisis suits with his stats?

ColdCast, thank you for your offer, I might have to take you up on it once I can formulate some ideas please

LoneDragon - No idea I'm afraid.
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Old 30 Oct 2013, 00:09   #6 (permalink)
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In a Farsight detachment, the Commander Team is an optional unit taken in place of the Bodyguard Team. The supplement states that you cannot take the normal bodyguard unit with Farsight in an Enclave List. As such, any rules that apply to the bodyguard team do not apply here. Essentially, they function like normal Unique and Independent Characters. Without the restriction, I would say you can deploy them however you please, and they can leave the Farsight "Unit" at any time.

Fusion blasters are fantastic anti-tank weapons because they're meltaguns just with some extra range. If you want any vehicle dead, fusion blasters are better. The reduced strength an AP of the missile pods means they are generally best used for killing light vehicles and transports. Their extra range makes it easier to keep your suits alive and can put a dent in light infantry squads, but they won't be taking down tanks.

That said, keep in mind crisis suits have deep strike. If the extra close ranged anti-vehicle firepower is what you need, dropping a squad in with fusion blasters will eat tanks alive. For a ranged support unit, the missile pods are definitely the best option, but you'll have to look elsewhere to kill heavy vehicles and heavy infantry.

Farsight is fairly tough, and getting the most out of him will mean him being around 12" from his target for rapid fire. He doesn't share the low WS weakness of Tau either, but keep in mind he is NOT as good as the close quarters powerhouses of most other armies. What we can be used for well is a team leader for killing vehicles and heavy infantry. His dawn blade and high WS makes him solid against vehicles in CC, and attaching him to a mixed fusion blaster / plasma rifle crisis team makes for a deadly, close ranged team. With 4 wounds, and a 4+ invuln Farsight can tank even anti-tank return fire for at least a turn or two. The biggest weakness of a team like this in CC is getting swamped by a large squad. The high strength but low WS of crisis suits they get few hits, but those hits tend to do damage. If you do take him into combat, make sure his unit gets to initiate, and that it's against a unit with a small number of wounds to go around.
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Old 30 Oct 2013, 00:10   #7 (permalink)
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Sorry, Id love to have helped, but I am unfamiliar with the new edition.
All I can say is I am firmly against ever putting Burst Cannons on Crisis suits...Tau have more than enough S5AP5 weapons available. Crisis suits are one of the few options that allow different weapons. If I feel the need for JSJ Burst Cannons, Ill take a squad or 2 of Stealthsuits.
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Always use Stealthsuits.

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Old 30 Oct 2013, 00:32   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdCast View Post
Fusion blasters are fantastic anti-tank weapons because they're meltaguns just with some extra range. If you want any vehicle dead, fusion blasters are better. <<>>

That said, keep in mind crisis suits have deep strike. If the extra close ranged anti-vehicle firepower is what you need, dropping a squad in with fusion blasters will eat tanks alive. <<>>

Farsight is fairly tough, and getting the most out of him will mean him being around 12" from his target for rapid fire. <<>> What we can be used for well is a team leader for killing vehicles and heavy infantry. His dawn blade and high WS makes him solid against vehicles in CC, and attaching him to a mixed fusion blaster / plasma rifle crisis team makes for a deadly, close ranged team. With 4 wounds, and a 4+ invuln Farsight can tank even anti-tank return fire for at least a turn or two. <<>>
Perfect, thank you! Yes I have cut out some of the important bits (like avoiding CC with CC monsters as Tau just aren't into CC whatsoever) but this seals the deal so to speak.

Looks like this would be a much better way to employ Farsight Commander and a unit of Crisis troops. Fusion and Plasma deepstriking, leaving the Broadside unit to stick to ranged missiles. It didn't seem right to include Farsight if I wasn't using him together with a unit of sorts.

Now I can go formulate a pm for you

LoneDragon: I'm hearing ya, I've always liked the Stealthsuits from long back. I am tempted to field the Riptide as O'vesa just so that I have a free spot for some stealthsuits if ever I wanted to run them and BC's. Shame Shadowsun is banned for Farsight, or I'd do that combo without a doubt.
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Old 30 Oct 2013, 00:34   #9 (permalink)
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Essentially, the difference between BC crisis suits and BC stealth suits is a trade off of survivability for firepower. Unless the weapon firing at the team has ignores cover, the stealth teams will weather return fire better than a crisis team of equivalent point value.

However, a crisis suit team will have a decent amount more firepower for the same price. I'll compare these two units

Stealth Team - 202 pts
- Stealth Suits x6, burst cannons
- Shas'vre
- 2 Gun drones

Crisis Team - 198 pts
- Crisis suits x3, dual burst cannons
- 6 gun drones

The crisis team puts out 36 shots to the stealth team's 28, and more of them are twin-linked BS2 (12 vs 4), which are slightly more accurate than BS3. That results in 18.66 hits for the crisis team, only 14.222 for the stealth team.

There are only two situations in which crisis suits have superior survivability, and that is in the open and in close combat. Neither are particularly good in either, but the ablative wounds from the crisis suit's drones can eat many of the wounds while still leaving the squad's base of firepower intact. In the latter case, the increased number of wounds and higher strength and toughness of the crisis suits allow them to weather assaults slightly better.

This isn't a terribly large difference mind you, but it's something. Crisis suits for firepower and flexibility, Stealth suits for survivability.
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Old 30 Oct 2013, 00:41   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infyrana View Post
Perfect, thank you! Yes I have cut out some of the important bits (like avoiding CC with CC monsters as Tau just aren't into CC whatsoever) but this seals the deal so to speak.

Looks like this would be a much better way to employ Farsight Commander and a unit of Crisis troops. Fusion and Plasma deepstriking, leaving the Broadside unit to stick to ranged missiles. It didn't seem right to include Farsight if I wasn't using him together with a unit of sorts.

Now I can go formulate a pm for you

LoneDragon: I'm hearing ya, I've always liked the Stealthsuits from long back. I am tempted to field the Riptide as O'vesa just so that I have a free spot for some stealthsuits if ever I wanted to run them and BC's. Shame Shadowsun is banned for Farsight, or I'd do that combo without a doubt.
I feel the same way! I want Crisis suit troops sooo bad... But I love Shadowsun and dont know how to do without her!
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Always use Stealthsuits.

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