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Tactica: XV8 Crisis Suits

Submitted By: Date: September 21, 2005, 09:21:59 PM Views: 2359
Summary: <p class="body">Well, you've just squandered another £10 on your first or thirty-fourth Crisis Suit, rushed it home and hungrily torn it out of its shrink wrapping. So what now?<br /><br />

First thing obviously enough is to build the thing and get it painted in your army's color scheme - for more on building your XV8s see http://uk.games-workshop.com/tau/battlesuits/1/<br /><br />
However, the suits shown there tend to be very bland in their poses. Feel free to position your suit so it’s aiming at the enemy, jumping backwards, searching for targets and many more - this will make your Crisis Suits far more interesting to look at on the field.<br /><br />
Next step after painting it up is going to be taking it out to a game and testing it out a little bit, which is what we'll cover in more detail here.<br /></p>
<p class="subheader">Kitting out your suits:<br /></p>
<p class="body">Most important things to consider here are:<br />
Who are you fighting against?<br />
How is the rest of your army laid out?<br /><br />
For example, when fighting power armored armies Plasma Rifles come in handy, yet burst cannons are more useful against a horde of Orks or 'Nids. However, obviously sometimes you have no idea what you are up against, and so then it can be best to prepare for all comers.<br /><br />
As for your army lay out, here I recommend that you take some weapons that fill in the niches of the rest of your army - such as bringing Fusion Blasters to an army severely lacking in anti-tank weaponry (e.g. Railguns), or not taking Burst Cannons in an army stocked with Fire Warriors as you already have plenty of S5 weaponry. The Burst Cannon may be cheap and cheerful but other choices such as Missile Pods and Plasma Rifles are only readily available on XV8s, so make the most of it.<br /><br />
There are many ways to outfit your XV8s suggested in White Dwarf and on various websites, but some of the better known ones are summarized here.<br /><br />
<b>Fireknife</b> - Plasma Rifle and Missile Pod, with a Multitracker support system. Takes down both light and heavy infantry, plus light vehicles with ease. Fairly decent range so there is no need to get too close either. A good choice against all comers.<br /><br />
<b>Helios</b> - Plasma Rifle and Fusion Blaster, usually once again with a Multitracker (though sometimes a Shield Generator will increase the lifespan of these guys). Great at taking down all kinds of armor, including vehicles and Carapaced Carnies/Terminators. However, the shorter ranges of the weapons here often mean that you get close enough to enemy lines to put the suit in severe danger of being caught and killed. Some don't mind this, leading to such short-ranged suits being dubbed 'one-shot missiles'.<br /><br />
<b>Deathrain</b> - twin Missile Pods with a Target Lock or Shield Generator to fill the third hard point. Excellent range and does a decent job of handling light vehicles and infantry with 4+ (or worse) saves. However, has relatively few shots compared to other outfits.<br /><br />
For a larger list of Crisis Suit armaments and their uses, visit http://uk.games-workshop.com/tau/battlesuit%2Dconfigurations/1/<br /></p>
<p class="subheader">Optimizing the use of the suits you have - Force Organization:<br /></p>
<p class="body">Note that this includes after selecting Stealth Suits - don't ignore them for the purposes for optimizing the use of your XV8s, they can be incredibly useful in a number of situations.<br /><br />
Now, a lot of people deploy their suits in big chunky groups of three. If this works well for you, then fine, but personally I always find that spreading them across Elite choices is the most effective way of using them. Make sure you fill each Elite slot with at least some suits, and of course doing your best to keep like suits together. There are four advantages to doing this:<br /><br />
<b>a) More options in deployment.</b> You have more opportunities to see how your opponent is placing his forces, and so can react to it as necessary. In addition, you can place less expensive (IE, one suit compared to three) baits and lures if you are committing yourself to a refused flank based tactic.<br /><br />
<b>b) Protection from enemy shooting.</b> Well, to a degree. Some squads can do serious damage to a unit of XV8s, including lascannon/missile launcher armed Devastators and large units of Dark Reapers, for example. However, if the XV8s are separated into different units, you can result in your opponent overkilling what suits he can catch, as most units in 40k cannot split fire.<br /><br />
<b>c) Protection from enemy assault.</b> See above for the basics, but the general idea is that if your opponent cannot get into base contact with every suit you have acting in tandem, some can escape next turn. If you had used a big unit of three suits, a single Berserker clipping the front-most XV8 would have rendered the entire unit stuck.<br /><br />
<b>d) More options in the shooting phase.</b> Why fork out for target locks when separating the suits into different units allows you to pick different targets for each anyway?<br /><br />
Remember that nothing stops you from using multiple units of suits in tandem - if you need three or four suits to take out that unit, just bring in your two units of two together in union and continue as normal.<br /></p>
<p class="subheader">What to do on the battlefield:<br /></p>
<p class="body">There are several ways in which XV8 Crisis Suits can be effectively used in-game, namely:<br /><br />
<ul>
<li>Seek and Destroy</li>
<li>Harassment</li>
<li>Plugging the Gap</li>
</ul>
<p class="body">
<b>Seek and Destroy</b> - usually a favorite of anti-tank suits toting Fusion Blasters. If there’s a target that needs taking down fast, like that combat Dread or Carnifex thundering towards your lines, then the one-shot missile approach of using XV8s might come in handy.<br /><br />
<b>Harassment</b> - nearly all outfits can perform this role with ease. Basically makes use of the 'shoot-and-scoot' approach to Tau warfare. Move the unit into range and LOS of a target each turn going for maximum damage, then be sure that you can use your jetpacks in the Assault phase to get out of range and/or LOS so that they can’t strike back. Often infuriating to your opponent, and may result in them expending effort to catch the suits that would otherwise have been used against the rest of your army.<br /><br />
<b>Plugging the Gap</b> - best used with suits with long range capabilities (i.e., Missile Pods), as they can still fire whilst hanging around the back of your battle lines. Involves keeping your suits just behind your main force, and bringing them forward later on to fill in any gaps made in your forces from units lost to the enemy or that have fled the table. They can also concentrate on areas of the field where you may otherwise be overwhelmed.<br /></p>
<p class="subheader">Units to watch out for:<br /></p>
<p class="body">Some enemy units are particularly good at reeking havoc on Crisis Suits, and chances are the guy across the table knows this as well. The most dangerous of these are listed below.<br /><br />
<b>Marines</b> - Devastators with lascannon/missile launchers, Predators, Dreadnoughts, Terminators<br />
<b>Chaos</b> - Greater Daemons, Bolts of Change, and above<br />
<b>Imperial Guard</b> - Heavy weapon squads, Leman Russes/Basilisks<br />
<b>Inquisition</b> - Exorcists, Penitent Engines, Assassins, GK Terminators/Grandmasters<br />
<b>Orks</b> - Dreadnoughts/Kans, Mega Armored Nobz, Burna Boys<br />
<b>Eldar</b> - Wraithlords, Fire Dragons, Support Platforms, Dark Reapers<br />
<b>Dark Eldar</b> - Dark Lances (in sniper squads or on Raiders), Ravagers<br />
<b>Harlequins</b> - Kisses, Riveblades (wherever they are found)<br />
<b>Necrons</b> - Heavy Destroyers, C'Tan<br />
<b>Tau</b> - Railguns, other Crisis Suits<br /><br />
There are two ways of reducing the loss of XV8s to these units. Firstly, if you have a lot of points invested in suits, put these units at the top of your target selection and take them down fast. As hiding out of LOS to all enemies is not always possible, the second option is to use your jetpacks to hide from these units wherever possible.<br /><br />
Well, I hope this introduction to the usage of Crisis Suits has come in useful, and that there will be a lot more interestingly posed, well outfitted and alive XV8s out there in future.<br /><br />
Fish</p>

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