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Crisis Configuration for Connoisseurs
Old 29 Mar 2009, 20:51   #1 (permalink)
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Default Crisis Configuration for Connoisseurs

Disclaimer: This article is based on a topic I read about two years ago on the ATT-Boards. I don't exactly recall the details anymore, but I have to admit that the general idea for this was not really mine changes nothing about my genius, though

Please note that the concept of this thread is to use the new rules to their fullest - especially wound allocation. It is recommended that you re-read the rules in question if you are not entirely acquainted with them.


We all know how to equip Crisis now, don't we? All you need to do is find the right configuration, field a full unit of Crisis, maybe add a Hardwired DC for your Teamleader and get two Shield Drones (just in case), and that's it.
I have to admit that I thought that's all there is to Crisis configuration - figure out a good configuration, and field it. Deathrain, Helios, Fireknife - the trick is finding one that is both flexible, yet specialised enough to fulfill a certain role, and then run with it. The idea was to find the perfect configuration for EVERY suit, and not to consider the Crisis team as a whole.
The thought of actually mixing weaponry throughout a unit was seen as a waste of points, as a weakness, as - in a word - inefficiency. Kills were calculated as "kills per Crisis", and the overall effictivity of a unit was the result of the individual performance of the Suits.


Yet, the times have changed. With the advent of 5th Edition, Tau Crisis were weakened in several aspects:

-The "Run"-rule means that the enemy is closing in on us much faster than it did in 4th Edition.

-True Line of Sight makes our Crisis very vulnerable to enemy ranged weaponry (at least compared to 4th) - it is nigh impossible to hide our Crisis behind forests and other area terrain any more, for example, and also ruins don't provide reliable cover anymore - too many bullet holes and windows reveal our Crisis to vengeful looks from our opponents.

-The prevalence of 4+ saves makes a lot of specialised anti-TEQ and anti-MEQ Crisis Configurations much less effective, and only an abundance of Markers can help to cure this situation.

Then again, we have one very important new rule that can at least somewhat alleviate the fact that our Crisis are more vulnerable to shooting - the new wound allocation rule. While the (ab)use of this rule is open to discussion, it is clear that it can help to prolong the lifespan of our Crisis Suits enormously if used correctly. This alone should be a reason to consider arming Crisis with different weapon load-outs.


In my opinion, it is time to stop thinking of Crisis teams as a collection of individual Suits. We need to understand more how they can work together as a team, and how we can utilise the changes 5th Edition brought us to our advantage.

Let's take a look at one of our standard units - a trio of Deathrains. Three barebone Deathrains (TL MP, TA) cost 159 points. Wound them with 2 Lascannons and 6 Bolter Shots, and you'll most likely have to remove all 3 of them (the two Lascannons insta-kill, and you'll probably fail 2 out of 6 armour saves).

Now, let's say we were not fielding 3 Deathrains, but rather 3 Crisis with slightly different equipment - one had a Flamer, the other a BSF instead of the TA. Suddenly, we can freely allocate the wounds on our Crisis - the two Lascannon wounds and a single Bolter wound go to the Flamer/TL MP Crisis, three Bolter wounds go to the BSF/TL MP Crisis, and two Bolter wounds to the TA/TL MP Crisis. Chances are, the uni'll survive this attack, with about three remaining wounds, and only the loss of a single Suit. Impressive, eh?

Of course, the survivability would go up if you also used Drones, but I've left out this factor for simplicity's sake.


Now, having established that mixed configuration Crisis units are much better at surviving, I want to go a step further - I want to make the point that mixed configuration Crisis are actually superior to homogenous Crisis Configurations, and that "wound allocation abuse" is not the only reason to be creative with your Crisis Configs.

Again, let us consider our Deathrain team. I do have to admit that they are very efficient; they can probably deal with 80% of most enemy units on the tabletop. Yet, as stated above, with the new "run"-rule, opponents are much faster "in their face", and they also have glaring weaknesses against deep striking TEQs, extreme Horde armies, or generally speaking MEQs.

Now, consider a Crisis team armed with: TL MP/Flamer, MP/PR/MT, MP/BC/MT. Not only does this unit have a big advantage in terms of survivability, it also has the advantage in flexibility. It can deal somewhat with deep striking units that make the mistake of landing close by (Flamer can hurt, and the PR is helpful, as well), while still retaining enough firepower at long ranges (especially if you field a few Markerlights). Going even beyond, with the wound allocation rule, you can allocate the wounds to the Suit you'll most likely won't need. For example, if you play Orks without Meganobs, the PR-equipped Crisis can easily be lost; when dealing with Marines, the BC/MP Crisis is a prime candidate for early "retirement".

Also, a mixing close-range Crisis with long-range configurations has the advantage that the unit is useful during the whole game - at the beginning, the long-range Crisis are most useful. As the Crisis start to take casualties and the enemy draws closer, you remove the long-range Crisis, and continue to deal damage with the short-range configurations. (Example Teams: +++TL MP/TA, MP/PR/MT, TL PR/TA+++; +++TL MP/Flamer, MP/PR/MT, MP/FB/MT+++).


As you can see, the sky is the limit when it comes to Crisis configuration, and the wound allocation rules are not the only reason to create diverse Crisis units. Not only are "mixed" Crisis teams very flexible, they are also - in my opinion - very fluffy: They really emphasise the teamwork-aspect of the Tau and are useful in a wide range of situations.

Here a couple of possible teams (added Drones = added survivability), just to get your imagination started:

A tank-and TEQ-hunting unit that brings some long-range firepower onto the table as well.

+++TL MP/Flamer, TL MP/AFP, MP/BC/MT+++
A handy anti-infantry unit that mows down Hordes of Orks, while at the same time can effectively deal with light vehicles, such as Trukks.

+++MP/Flamer/MT, MP/BC/MT, MP/PR/MT+++
A handy unit for nearly every situation, yet dependant on Markerlights.

Very expensive, but also quite flexible, and very good against Marine armies. Problem with a mixture of TL and non-TL weaponry is the us eof Markerlights - using them to improve BS is a waste on the TL-weapons, using them to lower cover saves doesn't help the non-TL weaponry hitting.

CC welcome.

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Old 29 Mar 2009, 22:01   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Crisis Configuration for Connoisseurs

A very interesting point/article. I (and I think many others) already knew about the wound allocation rule... in theory, but if you're like me you probably completely forget and disregard it when ACTUALLY making your army list, until you get to the table and think "oh right, if I'd...." when two suits blow up.

Run hurts us. A LOT. even more than the cover loss (which is more neutral overall given it means the broadsides can fire through those trees). the 18" weapons are hurt a little by it (depending on who's targetting you and whether or not they have fleet), but suddenly the 20 points of plasma rifle are an expensive and deep hole in your points Too deep for the price difference with regular plasma in other armies. Having reached 12", you'll be no further than 18" at the end of your turn, and all it takes then is a good roll or Fleet.

Even the change of Jetpacks to Relentless doesn't actually change much for Tau, as the only weapon that can benefit is the markerlight, or sometimes
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Old 29 Mar 2009, 22:10   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Crisis Configuration for Connoisseurs

While I'm a big fan of mixing up the suits for survivability and the occasional splitting of fire (like to stun multiple vehicles), I think crisis suits need to be specialized for their role. They are expensive models for the amount of firepower they have, so you need to get the most out of that firepower whenever possible. To me, this means using the most appropriate weapon for the target, and you lose efficiency when firing a mix of weapons. (This is also the reason I rarely use fireknives.) Admittedly, there are some that mix well. I like the burst cannon sidearm or extra punch against infantry, or replacing the fusion blaster with a CIB on one member of a helios squad for improved TEQ killing. I don't think many other configs work, though.

1st example, helios with one fusion blaster traded for a missile pod: this isn't too bad, but I think on balance it's less effective than a full helios. The plasma rifle is most effective at short range, and the fusion is only effective at short range. Outside of that the team is going to be largely ineffective, and at short range where everything else works, that missile pod is going to not much more effective than the fusion. Less so if you're hunting TEQ's.

2nd example, mostly deathrains with mixed secondary weapons: I rather like this one, actually. They all have missile pods for light vehicles then infantry, and the ABFP and burst cannon are quite helpful against the infantry. I would target lock the ABFP suit as there is too much risk of friendly fire if firing the ABFP at the same unit your are flamering unless it's a very large squad.

3rd example, missile pods multi-tracked with mixed second weapons: Again, not too bad, but I think if you want flexibility just go with fireknives. It will be hard to find the best range when you have missile pods reaching 36, single-fire plasma at 24, burst cannon at 18, rapid-fire plasma at 12, and flamer at 8 or however long a template is! I also don't like multi-tracking a missile pod with a flamer. Go with twin missiles and a flamer side-arm (without multi-tracker) or burst cannon, flamer, and multi-tracker. For any 2-weapon suit I would try to make it an HQ squad so you can have targeting arrays. BS 3 means an awful lot of misses!

4th example, mixed fireknife weapon systems. Interesting take here. I would have to see some mathhammer on this one to see how it compares to standard fireknife, but I doubt it would be much different. where it IS different is in the rolling of dice. You'll have twin-linked missile, twin-linked plasma, single plasma, and single missile. That's 4 different dice to roll from a 3-suit unit and I just don't see that as being worth the effort for what's about as effective as generic fireknives. I guess it does give you the wound allocation advantage and the option of removing the missile pod suit first when the plasma's are more effective, but that's really a defensive advantage rather than an offensive one.
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Old 29 Mar 2009, 23:29   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Crisis Configuration for Connoisseurs

Its not just weapons that can be different to affect wound allocation it can be just different wargear.

I usually run my suits in two with two drones arming thm with PR, MP and whatever the gear is called that allows you to fire two weapons at once, that's 4 or 5 shots per suit!

One suit has a drone controller and I can therefore benefit from the new wound allocation system.

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Old 30 Mar 2009, 17:52   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Crisis Configuration for Connoisseurs

If one of the suits has a hard-wired drone controller, eg:


Could you still allocate the wounds as described above, even though the models look exactly the same?

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Old 30 Mar 2009, 17:55   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Crisis Configuration for Connoisseurs

You could allocate the first two wounds to different suits but the third would have to go back onto one of the two that already have wounds because two of your suits are the same.

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Old 30 Mar 2009, 18:10   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Crisis Configuration for Connoisseurs

Originally Posted by StaffordGames
You could allocate the first two wounds to different suits but the third would have to go back onto one of the two that already have wounds because two of your suits are the same.

Ok, thanks.
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Old 30 Mar 2009, 20:04   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Crisis Configuration for Connoisseurs

I think itīs a mix of weapons range plus purpose what still makes crisis team efficient and therefore durabilty in accordance with your article.

For example: TL PR/MP, TL MP/PR, MP/PR/TA (HW:TL/MT)


For example.

I think over specialized suits (each with different purpose weapons or wargear) could be more durable but less effective (to much confidence in "lady luck" to accomplish an objective, IMO... highly risky but very heroic if succeds). I donīt say your point is fully right but I think is mandatory to be complementary with the main purpose of the team...
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Old 31 Mar 2009, 02:30   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Crisis Configuration for Connoisseurs

Creative, I really like the new perspective. :funny:

Unfortunately if wound allocation is what you're after merely equiping different Drones or support systems would do.

If we stay on this idea though, I think we could (collectively) come up with good mixed weapon matches. I also like that Bonesaw has actually done something about the inevitable close quarters we face with our XV-8's, like equipping a Deathrain with a flamer for a third hardpoint or the 'progression squad' that shifts from focusing on MP's to PR's as the enemy closes range.

In a tournament setting, used effectively this new perspective could be great. Good job Bonesaw. :rockon:
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Old 31 Mar 2009, 03:29   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Crisis Configuration for Connoisseurs

In 4th edition I equipped my deathrains with tlmp and a flamer many times. Back then it was to conserve points, but every now and then I'd end up using the flamer on infiltrators, or if things went horribly wrong. Now, with run, you are much more apt to have enemies in your face, and I see the flamer as not just a hard point filler, but a weapon that is actually worth having now. Here is a deathrain trio I made up and I think would be effective gamewise and with wound allocation.

tlmp, flamer
tlflamer, mp
tlmp, flamer, team leader, hwtl (hwdc and gun drones X 2 if you want)

This unit is very cheap, if going for the non-gun drone team leader, it can deal with light transports/medium infantry in the early stages of the game, and then use the flamers when the enemy gets too close. I'd hang these guys in the back, using their missile pods for long range, and having the flamers deter outflankers/deepstrikers. Giving the team leader a target lock allows you to go after two choice targets of opportunity, or lets you use cover more and not have to worry about not having LOS to a target.
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