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Let's Talk 2: Artillery!

 Post subject: Let's Talk 2: Artillery!
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 10:50 pm 
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Artillery:
So the War Engine topic generated a lot of interest (and discussion certainly isn't over on that thread).
But lets move on with the block-by-block analysis of the Squat Army with everyone's favorite special weapons: the Indirect Fire

We have one big artillery gun - the Goliath Mega-Cannon - and two smaller - the Mole Mortar and Thudd Gun.


What roles do the Artillery Pieces bring to the army, and do they fill said roles in a balanced way?

Now I haven't seen too many complaints about these units at all yet, and they seem fairly straightforward. My current plans for them is to leave them unchanged, but it's worth a talk to see if they need anything done with them.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 2: Artillery!
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 10:52 pm 
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Let's talk: Goliath Mega-Cannon!


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Analysis:
When playing EpicA using Squats, at the start of each turn I have to carefully weigh up which formations to activate in which order. But usually the the first activation is the easiest: Goliaths speak first.

For 150 points a pop they may look a little overpriced on paper, especially compared to some of the other more complex War Engines, but I have to tip my hat to the Goliath's reliability and efficiency.

With the long range and Indirect they are able to comfortably drop two pie plates of Ignore Cover barrage anywhere on the table. It's effective because:
1) They can hit every unit on the battlefield, no matter where they hide
2) They are surprisingly resilient - 2DC means that a single blast marker doesn't supress any fire
3) Most enemy units usually have a large infantry formation that they have learned to place in cover for protection, usually bunched up to get them all in. Golaiths love that sort of tactic as they can blast them apart with impunity.

Also, never forget that at 6BP they score an extra blast marker. Never forget to place this and never underestimate it. Have two deathstrikes aimed at your precious Colossus? The Goliaths will automatically break them, even if they do not score a single hit.

You can purchase a third Goliath pushing the barrage to a third template. Although I have never taken it, I think that it is often worth it, especially against large horde infantry like Tyranids or Orks.


Imperial Guard Comparision:
Each Goliath is worth 3 Basilisks just to get the right number of BP's. But it is hard to get a direct comparison as while guard can grab long range Basilisks and Manticores for vanilla and Disrupt barrage, the Ignore Cover Bombards ave a much shorter range. Secondly Steel Legion have to buy their arty in units of 3 or 9, missing out on the 'magical' 6BP that is very efficient. This may be why many opponents place their infantry in cover vs Squats, not knowing how useless it is.

Issues:
There isn’t much to complain about the Goliaths. They sit at the back of the board shooting things. Sometimes they miss. Sometimes they get taken out by the opponent early, but usually they do their job and earn their points back.

Likelyhood of any changes
None, unless they is suddenly a huge outcry over the next few weeks.

Fun Fact
The original rules for the Golaiths back in 2nd edition gave them amazing stats. Easily the biggest artillery in the game. To do a direct conversion into EA rules would leave them with probably 5 BP each with MW, IC!


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 2: Artillery!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:19 am 
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Let's talk: Thudd Guns!


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*Went with a 40k sized Thudd Gun photo to show how cool they look close up

Analysis:
You can't knock the Thudd Guns. They have a really nice range of 45cm that when firing indirect gets doubled up to an impressive 90cm. So they can pick an infantry unit within that bubble and inflict, on average 4 hits.

Garrison them forward into cover on overwatch and they'll always have something worth shooting at.

The one drawback is that they count as mounted so no getting the 4+ cover save from ruins (or the 5+ cover save from overwatch) so they die if the opponent hits them enough. I find they sit at a nice sweet spot where they cause enough damage that the opponent *must* take care of them but it takes more than 225 points to winkle them out of their dug in position.



Imperial Guard Comparision:
This isn't even a comparison as Thudd Guns exist in quite a few other Imperial armies. No chance to change their stats on this unit!

Likelyhood of any changes
None, they're locked in place by the virtue of being relatively complaint free (plus being a weapon across multiple lists)


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 2: Artillery!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:39 am 
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Let's talk: Mole Mortars!


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*Look, I included some Epic-scale Thudds in case anyone was raging in anger after the last post

Analysis:
Mole Mortars are Thudd Gun's smaller, more derpy cousins. An actual BP weapon this time, it has a shorter range that seriously clips the utility compared to the Thudds.

I still like taking Mortars though, I often garrison them forward in cover, where as 'true' infantry they can get the cover saves. They are often the first to die, but as infantry in cover it takes a fair amount of firepower to clear them out and can provide a useful bait unit.

The Disrupt ability is quite powerful, but is more useful in the later game on longer range units, where it can be used to great effect to break units, or crush broken units. Mortars rarely get the opportunity to live that long or be in range.



Imperial Guard Comparision:
Tough comparison. I've not seen a unit like it in other armies, but at 175 points I wouldn't make it more expensive (without it being a worse choice than Thudds) or cheaper (allowing it to be spammed)


Likelyhood of any changes
None, unless they is suddenly a huge outcry over the next few weeks.

Fun Fact
It's important that you face your mortars around the right way. They fire into the ground, as shown in the photo above. If you face them the wrong way your guns won't fire.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 2: Artillery!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:45 am 
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Who's got opinions on the Artillery?


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 2: Artillery!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:15 am 
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Squat artillery is broadly fine. I know the Epic UK list is looking at mixed 'sentry' units where you can mix and match mole mortars, thudd guns, and robots. That seems like a worthwhile change.

Goliaths are good but not automatic choice for me. Partly as spotter hinders their use (giving other units access to indirect). 300 points for 2 seems about right, they're harder to suppress than your standard 250 IG artillery, though they're not as good as void spinners at 275 (yes 1 extra dc and a second template, but can't really move and ignore cover isn't as good as disrupt).

I don't think much is required here.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 2: Artillery!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:36 am 
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The only thing I would want to change with the Artillery is to bring back the mixing of different types. In other words, I would like to see the Squat Grand Battery back on the Squat list. Five Thudd Guns and ten Mole Mortars working together WOULD be Grand :o

Other than that I am in complete agreement with StevekCole, not much else needs to be done...except of course for Thunderfire Cannons ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 2: Artillery!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:50 am 
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StevekCole wrote:
Squat artillery is broadly fine. I know the Epic UK list is looking at mixed 'sentry' units where you can mix and match mole mortars, thudd guns, and robots. That seems like a worthwhile change.

Goliaths are good but not automatic choice for me. Partly as spotter hinders their use (giving other units access to indirect). 300 points for 2 seems about right, they're harder to suppress than your standard 250 IG artillery, though they're not as good as void spinners at 275 (yes 1 extra dc and a second template, but can't really move and ignore cover isn't as good as disrupt).

I don't think much is required here.


I'd like to take a look at the EpicUk list. Where is it posted? Mixed units is something that has been brought up before (Rapiers included)


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 2: Artillery!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:51 am 
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Roadkill Zombie wrote:
The only thing I would want to change with the Artillery is to bring back the mixing of different types. In other words, I would like to see the Squat Grand Battery back on the Squat list. Five Thudd Guns and ten Mole Mortars working together WOULD be Grand :o

Other than that I am in complete agreement with StevekCole, not much else needs to be done...except of course for Thunderfire Cannons ;)


Thunderfire Cannons/ AA are getting their own 'let's talk' thread. I believe that will be a busy one.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 2: Artillery!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 10:34 am 
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You could do another search on the Mole Mortars as there has been lots of discussion on them and their abilities.
Fortunately, these discussion reduced their range but the ability should be changed to ignore cover (the very definition of a mole mortar is to bypass any defensive emplacements).
This is actually a very obvious and warranted change.

I have no problem with 2 artillery having Ignore Cover in the same army.

The mix/match artillery batteries were removed for a reason and should probably stay off the table.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 2: Artillery!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 11:13 am 
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Onyx wrote:
You could do another search on the Mole Mortars as there has been lots of discussion on them and their abilities.
Fortunately, these discussion reduced their range but the ability should be changed to ignore cover (the very definition of a mole mortar is to bypass any defensive emplacements).
This is actually a very obvious and warranted change.

I have no problem with 2 artillery having Ignore Cover in the same army


Onxy, in lieu of having found said discussion threads, I'd like to hear your reasoning behind this change.

Is it is a fluff argument based on the description, or a balancing change because disrupt is to weak/powerful?

I've always been partial to all the underground 'shockwave' effects having a disrupt 'knock you off your feet effect'


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 2: Artillery!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:14 am 
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What would be interesting is the ability to boost the numbers of mole mortars and tuphudd guns. As in pay for a core unit and then boost up if you like. The problem of course is that 4bp disrupt is waaay better than 3bp disrupt so either the points would need to be seriously balanced or you could consider onyx suggestion of mole mortars ignoring cover in which case it's a bit different.

The big artillery seems ok based on our games, I wouldn't say they are under pointed compared to imperial equivalents. I'd trade my manticores for DC4 bp6 every turn in a heartbeat even without the disrupt.

I reckon your comments are right though, artillery really isn't the thing that needs much work here.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 2: Artillery!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 9:41 am 
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I love disrupt, it makes prepping and breaking units so much easier (which means as rug points out you have way more viable targets such as titans, or degrading firepower in tank cos basically anything with good armour). In the theoretical goliaths vs manticores debate the other big thing to note is goliaths are pretty much immobile.

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