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Apologies if this has been posted before, but I couldn’t find it.
Tau armies have a couple of places in which they can choose either a better ballistic skill or twin-linked weapons, sometimes for a comparable point cost and sometimes for more. For example, a Shas’el can take either a Targeting Array, or can twin-link a Plasma Rifle, for the same 10 points; TL for a missile pod or fusion blaster, however, costs 4 points less than the TA. So, how to make those points decisions?
In the example above, taking the ‘el from BS 4 to BS 5 means that instead of missing 33% of the time, shots will miss 16.7 % of the time. Taking a BS 4 ‘el and twin-linking the plasma rifle means that instead of missing 33% of the time, shots will miss 25% of the time.
So, better BS clearly beats twin-linking, but the increment is not that big - it looks significant to say 16.7% misses instead of 25% misses, but another way to look at it is that your ’el goes from hitting 75% of the time with twin-linking to hitting 83% of the time with better BS - an increase of only eight percentage points, which corresponds to a 11% overall improvement in the chance of getting a hit with any given shot.
Of course, if you can afford to TL and have a TA on that 'el, now you're hitting 91% of the time ...
Hope this helps in configuring those ‘suits.
"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or of the one . . . unless the one is me." -- O'Shova
The beauty of Tau Crisis suits is that you really don't have to make that choice all that often. If you are taking two different weapons then you take a multi tracker to shoot them both. More shots means more hits and therefore more kills (and if you are a Team leader or higher then you can take a TA as well).
If you are only taking one weapon but twin linking it, then (still having to take a third hard point) you can take a TA to even further improve your chance of hitting.
XV8 Team Leader w/ Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, TA HW Multi.
The guy gets three shots outside of rapid fire range, and four shots inside of rapid fire range all hitting on a 3+.
XV8 x/ Twin-linked Missile Pod, TA.
The guy gets two shots per turn that hit on a 3+ with a re-roll.
Now the guy on the top has more shots, but the guy on the bottom is more accurate. In the end it pretty much works itself out (though the guy on the bottom is a little cheaper points wise).
I don't care what you say. I found a lightsaber in my garage and that makes me a Jedi
TL Bs2: 1/3=33.3+(66.7/[1/3])=33.3+22.2=55.5%
Bs 3: 1/2= 50%
TL Bs3: 1/2=50+(50/2)= 75%
TL Bs4:2/3=66.7+(33.3/[2/3])=66.7+22.2= 88.9%
As you can see, twin linking always has a greater effect than the Bs one point above it. Hence, if your sole option is to either twin link or increase Bs, go with twin-linking. However, the case is more complicated than that. On many crisis suits players will often take two different weapons with a multi-tracker. In the case that this was a team leader and you could take a hard wired multi-tracker, your option would be to either twin link one of your current weapons, or equip a targeting array. Twin linking only applies to one weapon, though, and the other gun will not gain the benefit. And each gun has a specific and unique purpose. Therefore, if you are taking multiple weapons on a suit and have the option to either twin link or equip a targeting array, go with the targeting array. This is not to say that twin-linking is a bad idea on Crisis suits though. Deathrains and Burning Eyes excel at their jobs and do it better than any other suit available (a Deathrain has TL Missle Pods and TA, Burning Eye has TL Plasma Rifles and TA). Each of these units are very powerful at doing their particular tasks, but if caught outside the scope of their preferred field they will not function as well as a model wielding two guns.
On a personal note, I have found Fireknives with multi-trackers, lead by a team leader (fireknife, TA, HWMT, bonding, 2 shield drones) to be the most effective unit of crisis. Burning eyes only really shine with escalation, and Deathrains can't pack the punch to dispose of a closing Assault Squad. Remember that your opponent can often reach you from 18" away due to specialized assault squads, and any weapon that requires you to be within 12" (rapid firing plasma/fusion blaster/flamer) will get you caught and killed.
P.S. I'm basically disagreeing with Prittstift's rule of thumb. Instead, it's pretty much like this:
Taking one gun? TL and TA.
Taking two guns? MT (TA if you can.)
My gaming group's new motto: That army you're using is overpowered because it hurts my guys, codex is broken and needs a rewrite.
For crisis suits at least, a simple rule of thumb is to consider how many weapons you're going to give it. If it only has one useful weapon (like a deathrain suit with TL missile pods) twin linking gives a slightly higher chance to hit than raising BS. If you have two weapons, then you need to balance between having a better chance to hit with both or an even better chance to hit with one.
And actually, I think Pritt got it slightly wrong.. It's more efficient to twin link a unit with BS3 than with BS4. Check out Longinus' maths and you'll see that changing a BS3 weapon to a twin linked BS3 weapon gives a higher chance to hit than at any other BS bracket. Okay, it's a fairly small difference, so you shouldn't be put off twin linking units with higher ballistic skill, but there's nothing wrong with getting a standard, unboosted crisis suit and twin linking its weapons. Just look at the aforementioned deathrain.. 75% to hit is not to be sniffed at.
I have a feeling I'm going to end up with a deathrain commander for a bit, but that's just laziness.. Generally speaking, TL works best on BS3 models.