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Squat Feedback from London Tournaments

 Post subject: Squat Feedback from London Tournaments
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 9:55 am 
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Thanks to South London Wargames Club being accomodating opponents, I took the 1.5 Squat list to the London 'Ryder Cup' Derby yesterday. A really good opportunity to test the army against some great regular tournament players, including Richard Laking the reigning UK champion. I'm not going to do full battle reports but more key points for feedback.

The list I took was:

Bezerkers x8 200
Bezerkers x8 200
Bezerkers 175

Bikes SC 275
Iron Hawks 200
Robots 225
Thunderfires 100
Thunderfires 100
Thunderfires 100
Overlord 250
Overlord 250

Colossus 450
Cyclops 475

GAME 1 vs Space Marines
So the 2 lists I was most concerned about facing were Space Marines and Tau, guess who was first up?

Charles took a really mobile and beautifully painted marine list:
Tacticals+Supreme Commander+Hunter+Lascannon Razorback (500, BTS)
Terminators+Chaplain (400)
Land Speeder Typhoons (250)
Land Speeders (200)
Scouts+Snipers (200)
Scouts+Snipers (200)
Thunderhawk (200)
Thunderhawk (200)
Warhound (275)
Warhound (275)
Thunderbolts (150)
Thunderbolts (150)

The lack of spaceship was a relief at least. It meant I could castle up in the corner and create an AA bubble to ward off a potentially horrible air assault.

I kept my objectives within 30cm at the halfway line (as I did in every game), Charles split his. He also split his forces with the terminators and one warhound pushing onto the main cluster of objectives and the second warhound with some landspeeders flanking me. Charles used his thunderhawk's range to plink my aa and overlords, while (after some poor shooting in the first two rounds) the cyclops took out both warhounds. I tried to bring down his more mobile units but couldn't do both that and advance enough. In the end Charles, cleverly repositioned his speeders meaning the game was a turn 4 draw in my favour (on countback).

GAME 2 - Tau

risis+ShasO+Gun Drones
Fire Warriors(with Devilfish)+Skyray
Fire Warriors(with Devilfish)+Skyray
Fire Warriors(with Devilfish)
Skryays
Broadsides
Broadsides
Recon (5 tetras 1 Piranha)
Recon (5 tetras 1 Piranha)

Titan/Air Third

Barracudas
Protector
Orca

Basically, Richard (unsurprisingly) shredded me. I mucked up my objective placement which meant he could garrison a unit of broadsides right in the middle of the board. He pinpointed off my overlords (turn 1), and then instead of sticking to my game plan of staying tight, I split up sending bikes and a bezerker squad after his blitz. (pulling units out of air cover). This meant the WE lacked support and got gummed up by tetras. Despite this it came down to a 4+ rally roll for the Colossus (which I failed) for a 2-0 turn 3 win for Richard.

GAME 3 - Orks

KULT OF SPEED ('UGE) [600]
9 Buggy, 15 Skorcha, 2 Mekboy Speedsta, Mekboy Bad Ork Bikeboy

SPEED FREAKS WARBAND [200]
Nobz (trukk), 3 Boyz (trukk), 4 Skorcha

SPEED FREAKS WARBAND [200]
Nobz (trukk), 3 Boyz (trukk), 4 Skorcha

SPEED FREAKS WARBAND [200]
Nobz (trukk), 3 Boyz (trukk), 4 Skorcha

SPEED FREAKS WARBAND [200]
Nobz (trukk), 3 Boyz (trukk), 4 Skorcha

SPEED FREAKS WARBAND [200]
Nobz (trukk), 3 Boyz (trukk), 4 Skorcha

SPEED FREAKS WARBAND [200]
Nobz (trukk), 3 Boyz (trukk), 4 Skorcha

SPEED FREAKS WARBAND [200]
Nobz (trukk), 3 Boyz (trukk), 4 Skorcha

WARBIKE OUTRIDERS (BIG) [250]
10 Warbikes

FIGHTA SQUADRON [150]
3 Fighta Bomba

FIGHTA SQUADRON [400]
8 Fighta Bomba

So this was a game I felt pretty confident about. Rob's list is really nasty but hundreds of LVs aren't great against my list (I had much more trouble with Mark's more balanced speed freak list the other week). Again I bunkered up on the right while Rob's numbers meant he had to cover the whole board. I basically threw everything at his right flank to stall the attack there before turning to face the left. Rob also had some really bad luck with save throws and I really felt for him, needless to say he remained a really good sport throughout. My AA was able to ward off his aircraft and I kept the overlords & WE in a tight central group where they could always support each other. Unlike in my other 2 games, I also didn't make any mistakes (which helps).

In the end, due to time the game was a draw in my favour on turn 3 (I just couldn't force my way onto enough objectives). Had it gone to turn 4 I think it would have been 2/3-0. Afterwards, Rob was saying he didn't know what he could have done differently. Thinking about it there are a few things that with more games against Squats he might have changed. He left his BTS within line of fire of the colossus to support an attack on the next turn but lost the initiative. This allowed me to sustain on a lot of bunched up skorchas which really tipped the game in my favour. I also probably wouldn't have spread out as much as he did. If he'd loaded all his units onto one flank there's no-way I could have chewed through them before taking some serious assaults. As it was I could split his forces rather than getting totally overwhelmed. Anyway, it was a great game to end a brilliant day.


Overall thoughts:
The Squat list proved pretty competitive, but as has been pointed out before, quite situational. Some match ups are definitely better than others.

OVERLORDS
There was a lot of debate about overlord pricing, are they too cheap at 250 points? To be honest I think part of this is a 'shock of the new' response. Imagine playing against a warhound for the first time 'It can move how far? It has shields? It's fearless? It has MW?' and that costs 275 points. Any army with a pinpoint attack will wreck overlords so a competitive list has to be prepared for that. I think there was real concern about potentially spamming them. I'd have to try this in a game to be sure. My thoughts are that you'd lose out (as probably your most mobile units would go to get the points, bikes and hawks to fit them which makes grabbing objectives even harder). You could put a 0-2/3 limit on them or an AMTL style no more overlords than core units/units from the titan 3rd.

AA
Towed AA would be amazing, but perhaps better would just be a 5cm move on thunderfires. As what I found is with limited AA bubbles it's really hard to win, or particularly win big (though that's also about my playing ability). You simply cannot push onto the blitz without getting battered by aircraft. Squat AA does need to be good though. I think what a few people don't clock (and I say this as a regular eldar player) is how limiting not having aircraft of your own is, makes it much harder to support assaults in your opponent's third or chase down broken units (which is also why spotter is a good rule - it helps compensate for this).

Also, with regard to AA in the list, there's a huge emphasis on air assaults in the UK scene and I'm not sure if it's the end of the world to have an army that means you have to think quite differently about that. What I'm not sure is whether the balance is quite there yet. Basically you're pretty secure within a certain area of the board but not at all outside of that.

Stubborn
Most people were basically bemused by the 15cm fall back and more so by the 5cm hack down, it felt like too many changes to the main rules. I feel similarly about this, perhaps it should be changed to cannot fall back more than 30cm?

Feel
What I do like is that the list, as it stands, feels suitably different to other lists. The temptation that a lot of people seem to have is to make it more like IG, but then why not play IG. What I do like with the rules (spotter, stubborn, 1+ rally) is they give it a good squattish/dwarfish flavour. Plus, as mentioned in other people's feedback, there are no more 'odd' rules than for Space Marines, Eldar, Orks and Tau. Again, just imagine someone 'introduced' space marines ('they do what with blast markers???'). I do think the list as stands is pretty balanced, however there are a number of sub optimal choices (for me infantry, land train, iron eagles, possibly even goliaths). What it does have is great ranged shooting, ok in firefights (but not great), decent in close assault - however a total glass cannon. With the list I took you have to be tightly grouped, steadily advancing, but keeping hawks & bikes in reserve to plug gaps or pounce on enemy mistakes.

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Last edited by StevekCole on Wed Aug 05, 2015 4:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Squat Feedback from London Derby Tournament
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 10:39 am 
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It was an interesting game :)

As to some of my own thoughts on them, i'd agree that the Overlord is a funny one really, it's impact on the game really does depend on what your opponent has to throw at them, but even against say the Tau - they kept your Cyclops alive, otherwise i'd have been stripping shields off them at the first opportunity and then hammering it to death with the space ship, which meant i considered them enough of a threat to give away my only real chance at your BTS.

The War Engines are brutal, to me pretty damn cheap for their capability and durability. I hear a lot of comparisons with Reavers, but it's worth noting that Reavers are 200pts more expensive than the colossus, and lack reinforced armour (something that makes a huge difference against armies like Tau that sport limited access to TK and macro, but resaonably flexible standard AT), as well as being arguably not as good in the armament department unless you try and compare to the AMTL list, which given the list makes them very different to Reavers in say Guard or Marines is i think a bit unfair.

The AA is i think pretty solid as it stands. Yes, you can't just waltz around the board with impunity, but being able to interdict half the board pretty much with sufficient flak to stop anything barring T-Hawks being that keen about having a go is something that most lists wish they had ;) Granted units have to weather a turn or two's shooting going for the opponent's board half (if the overlords are dead), but it's no guarantee they're going to get shreaded unless it's say the bikers with trikes, as these tend to be dogmeat once T-bolts start showing up. It's worth noting though that most scouting LV's face the same problems during a game, as it's rare to have sufficient AA in any list to protect everything, and wouldn't be a good thing if you could given it would effectively negate Air units.

The breaking rules seemed a bit odd, and seemed a bit unnecessary. A single move rather than double for broken units would probably be fine and clean things up a bit, and with the cheeky 1+ rallying would be fine i'd think.

Overall though I didn't find them super broken or anything, but they were the toughest army i had to play against over the weekend, and do seem in the same league as AMTL as far as difficulty to beat, but with better chances of actually winning given the activation count you can achieve. Thoughts might change however i guess after more play against them!


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 Post subject: Re: Squat Feedback from London Derby Tournament
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 11:59 am 
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A few other bits after thinking about it some more:

1. I think some of the core choices might be more appealing if their cost was reduced and had to pay for transport options. Should increase flexibility overall and make core a bit less of just 'take three of the cheapest and move on'. Works well for Chaos, and i think it would help here too.

2. Supreme commander is a bit of an odd one at the moment in that it seems a bit of a no-brainer to add him to a guild biker unit. Granted it's a bit vulnerable, and realistically is just going to sit behind cover in the middle of your AA on overwatch (which is what my Tau SC ends up doing most games), but when you're effectively paying 125pts for him with the other choices why spend all those extra points? You might get a decent armour save, but you're still not fearless, so it's not really that much safer unless you go whole hog and get a leviathan as well, at which point that's also your BTS and damned expensive!


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 Post subject: Re: Squat Feedback from London Derby Tournament
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 4:50 pm 
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Hi Richard,

I don't think there's anything you've said I strongly disagree with. Regarding the Colossus, I think you mean thick rear armour rather than reinforced armour? Regarding the Reaver/Colossus comparison, of course the Reaver is a good 200 points more, but it is also much more versatile (both in mobility and load out) with the Colossus I think you do also have to do more to build your list around it and it's not able to be reactive in the way a Reaver is. That said, I wouldn't disagree with a drop in CC to 5+, and possibly losing thick rear armour (though in terms of fluff TRA fits well, unlike titans the Squat WEs are basically fortresses on wheels so wouldn't obviously have the vulnerable rear knee joints etc of titans). The other advantage of this could be to make the land train more viable, at the moment I really struggle to see a reason for taking one over the Colossus (unless you want to take 2 small ones & goliaths to max out barrages). The other addition I would make is probably a spacecraft with pin point as that would stop the Cyclops being an absolute must have.

With regard to it being the toughest list you played, I'll take that as a compliment (i can chose a decent list even if I play it poorly) but I'm not sure if that's about the race more my selections. I do think in terms of my selections, this is a slightly more optimal list than Mark and Nick's. I think Mark, as another squat player, would probably agree with that?

In terms of your prioritising the overlords over the Cyclops, I guess that would be the case for other lists with multiple relevant targets for pinpoint attacks - there's a judgement call about what's the biggest threat. I know a lot of people take, for example, deathstrikes for that reason, to draw fire from other units.

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 Post subject: Re: Squat Feedback from London Derby Tournament
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 4:53 pm 
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PS agree about possibly paying for transports, that would also make the pithead and leviathan more viable (as you're not giving up 'free' rhinos to take them).

My big conclusion regarding AA is that it's probably alright as stands, though 5cm movement would be worth playtesting.

I think the only reason you wouldn't put the SC in a bike co is if you didn't take a bike co. Say with regard to my list either bringing in mole mortars, a 3rd overlord, or wanting to take living ancestor.

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 Post subject: Re: Squat Feedback from London Derby Tournament
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 7:18 pm 
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Thanks for the thoughts guys. On the AA front - units of two?

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 Post subject: Re: Squat Feedback from London Derby Tournament
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 7:40 pm 
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Units of 2 are fine, you could test a 4 for 200/250? I do think a 5cm move would be good but not overpowered.

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 Post subject: Re: Squat Feedback from London Derby Tournament
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 10:47 am 
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It's a tricky one in terms of unit size imo, two are already pretty fierce (especially for 100pts), 3 would help a bit in stopping them being able to end up with a high activation count while still taking all their toys, but on the flip side would mean you'd have to send something significant after them due to the risk of casualties on the way in.


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 Post subject: Re: Squat Feedback from London Derby Tournament
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 10:49 pm 
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Personally I've found games with and against the Squats to be fun and quite balanced, but then it is easier to play a list if you own one and know it's strengths and weaknesses! In line with the feedback and looking at getting more internal balance in the list, how's this for some suggestions/options for playtesting?
1. Overlords priced at 275. This puts them up there with warhounds and questor titans, both excellent units.
2. Warriors cost 225/250 without transport, can purchase 5 rhinos for 50pts. The hearthguard can be upgraded to an SC without the warlord upgrade purchased first. Suddenly warriors look attractive...
3. Try 3 thunderfires at 150
4. Stubborn seems to confuse every player I've tried to introduce the squat list to. Any thoughts on what could be done to make it simpler? Personally I preferred the earlier rule, where squats ignored enemy units within 30cm when rallying. Easy to explain, reflects dwarves courage. ;)

Sound good?

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 Post subject: Re: Squat Feedback from London Derby Tournament
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 8:31 am 
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Personally i like most of those suggestions, especially the Stubborn - seems a lot more elegant than having to mess around with a bunch of rules to achieve something similar, and also then gets rid of the need to have a 1+ to rally too.

Costs wise the only one that still seems a bit cheap is the thunderfires - i know it's not always easy to compare like-for-like across armies, but consider what the Krieg get for their AA unit with the same price and number of models...


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 Post subject: Re: Squat Feedback from London Derby Tournament
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 1:12 pm 
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Stubborn makes lots of sense, especially as it removes the units autodying with only a 15cm withdraw but also means that you cannot automatically remove 2 blast markers from any bezerker/bike/infantry unit more than 30cm away.

Thunderfires are at a tricky price point and I know there's been a lot of debate about this on previous threads. 125 for 2 feels too much, especially as they're basically mandatory and so die pretty easily. Also, unlike krieg squats can't get fighters of their own. So don't have the same ideal aa combo. Continuing on that train of thought, maybe cutting the overlord aa to 30cm would reduce the overall squat aa bubble, make 100pt thunderfires seem more reasonable and debuff the overlord (triple win)?

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 Post subject: Re: Squat Feedback from London Derby Tournament
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 2:34 pm 
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It maybe that my regular opponent is used to Overlords now as they are targeted and don't seem to be overpowered in any of my more recent games. Plus being seen by everything & not being fearless you just can't hide these things.

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 Post subject: Re: Squat Feedback from London Derby Tournament
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 3:53 pm 
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Tiny-Tim wrote:
It maybe that my regular opponent is used to Overlords now as they are targeted and don't seem to be overpowered in any of my more recent games. Plus being seen by everything & not being fearless you just can't hide these things.


That was my experience with anyone I've played regularly, game 1 is 'these things are a nightmare' and after that much less so. Especially as not only can they never hide from shooting, they can never get a to hit modifier either. Every now and then I get to sustain on something from 15cm with them and they're incredible, but more often than not my opponent knows exactly what to do with them.

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 Post subject: Re: Squat Feedback from London Derby Tournament
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 7:40 pm 
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I thought that on the whole the list was ok. There are a few things that need changing such as the Overlords having too much ability (surely their AA being 30cm is more reasonable than 45cm for starters!). On the other hand, the Warriors appear over priced. I like the idea of some units of Warriors and Beserkers trudging forwards on foot rather than in transports.

As for our game the reason I moved my BTS forwards was that I identified it as the only chance I had of winning our game. It was a calculated risk pushing them up knowing that I had +1 advantage in first activation 2nd turn, and I'd lost the 1st turn's roll so would also go first if it was a draw. I knew that if I lost it I could only draw, but if I did not do it I would have drawn anyway. Therefore I think I'd do the same again and just hope to get the luck of the 1st activation roll.


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 Post subject: Re: Squat Feedback from London Derby Tournament
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 8:09 pm 
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Totally agree moving the bts forward was the right move and likely to work out for you. Just if you'd positioned it slightly differently I wouldn't have been able to sustain sure to the ffa on the hell fury canon. I should have said at the time but genuinely didn't notice until I surprisingly won the initiative roll.

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