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Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!

 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 9:28 am 
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Yeah the hydra unit is a useful unit to steel legion as its cheap and adds a valuable activation and an essential AA function. However it's one of the most fragile units in the game (one 6+ save away from breaking) so its very rare of to take more than one hydra formation. Instead you would definitely want to add two or more flak upgrades elsewhere with the number depending on the air assault meta. DKOK have a more resilient (6 unit) heavy AA formation with the useful extra ability to lay a blast marker out 60cm away. DKOK can't embed flak in other formations so will normally take 2heavy AA formations and rely on probably 2 t-bolt squads as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 9:56 am 
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Off the top of my head, only chaos lists can embed multiple AA units into infantry units (in epic UK). This gets restricted by the fact they tend to be very low activation armies (9/10) plus defilers slow units with rhinos down. I know eldar can embed 2 firestorms in falcons but that unit remain waaay more vulnerable to assault or shooting than say a mech infantry co.

The only list I can think of with AA embedded in multiple war engines are Feral Orks. That works for them but essentially because they have no aircraft, are very slow and steam gargants aside, have negligible ranged fire. Even then, their AA is horrific because you can never suppress it and knocking out a single AA gun means killing a DC6, 4+ RA orkeasaurus.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 5:37 pm 
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Elsaurio wrote:
ffoley wrote:
I think the viability of these options depends a lot on what form (if any) the separate thunderfire formation takes. Without it the list appears to lack any <200pt formations which affects activation count.

Without thunderfires as a separate unit, then trying to rejig typical existing lists might look like:
4 core formations with thunderfire upgrades and an SC (1200ish)
3 support formations (gyros, bikes, OLs) (700ish)
2 Big WE with AA (1000ish)
That's only 9 activations and I'm not sure that's enough


That's a fair point and one worth looking out for. There is nothing wrong with Squats having a cheapish scoutish formation, just that thunderfires were not the best option.

But then again, I would modify your rejig a bit.

Let me have a go:



Warrior formation, rhinos 200
+3 thuddguns + 100
+ thunderfire + 50
+ Supreme Commander + 100
(Defensive unit, sits on blitz and snipes with thudd/thunderfire

Berzerker Squat in Termites - 200
(objective grabbing tunneler)

Berzerker in Rhinos 200
+ Robots 125
(Close combat)

Thunderers in Rhinos - 200
Thunderfire -50
Thuddguns maybe? -100
(move forward into ruins to shoot and hold centre)

SUPPORT
Mole Mortars - 175

Bikes - 225

Overlord - 225

Overlord - 225

WAR ENGINES
Goliaths - 300
(always useful)

Big WE with AA, Living Ancestor - 525
(BTS)

Core - 1325
Support - 850
WE - 825

That's 10 activations going quite heavy on core too. I guess the 200pt berzerkers and the 175pt Mole Mortars are the chaff. Considering that you're including a Reaver-class War Engine for 550 points you're going to be slightly tight on points.


I took a quick look at some lists too. I'd probably end up with something like:
4 core (Warriors or Thunderers) 800pts
Grand warlord 100pts
4 Thunderfires split between the core 200pts
bikes 225
3 gyro/overlord 750
Colossus 450
Cyclops 475. (possibly switching out one of the WE for a 450pt Land Train, just to mix things up)

That's 10 activations, which is the least i'd want to take (i usually aim for either 10 or 11). So it means I'm not taking any of the upgrades without losing activations.

Elsaurio wrote:
One other solution is to increase the number of Thunderfires per core unit it could be

Berzerkers: 1
Warriors: 2
Thunderers: 3

instead of

Berzerkers: 0
Warriors: 1
Thunderers: 2

Which would mean you could shrink down to 3 core units for another 2 activations in cheap support

If you are looking at going this route I'd suggest:
Berzerkers: 0
Warriors: 2
Thunderers: 2
It doesnt seem thematiic for Bezerkers to be towing thunderfires around.. :D and Thunderers + 3 Thunderfirers for 350pts might be OP?


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 12:02 am 
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Quote:


4 core (Warriors or Thunderers) 800pts
Grand warlord 100pts
4 Thunderfires split between the core 200pts
bikes 225
3 gyro/overlord 750
Colossus 450
Cyclops 475. (possibly switching out one of the WE for a 450pt Land Train, just to mix things up)

That's 10 activations, which is the least i'd want to take (i usually aim for either 10 or 11). So it means I'm not taking any of the upgrades without losing activations.


With thee overlords, a colossus and a cyclops in there you have 5 big war engines. What would you say to a Guard player that had 3 Warhounds and 2 Reavers in thier list and having issues with only 10 activations? Granted I can see that low activations with this list might be a smallish problem that we have to address but it has to be balanced with the fact that the list is loaded up with some big fat War Engines.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 12:04 am 
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Quote:

Iyou are looking at going this route I'd suggest:
Berzerkers: 0
Warriors: 2
Thunderers: 2
It doesnt seem thematiic for Bezerkers to be towing thunderfires around.. :D and Thunderers + 3 Thunderfirers for 350pts might be OP?



That is probably a better suggestion. It makes the actual list writing easier as thunderfires are 0-2 for both formations.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:23 am 
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Elsaurio wrote:
With thee overlords, a colossus and a cyclops in there you have 5 big war engines. What would you say to a Guard player that had 3 Warhounds and 2 Reavers in thier list and having issues with only 10 activations? Granted I can see that low activations with this list might be a smallish problem that we have to address but it has to be balanced with the fact that the list is loaded up with some big fat War Engines.

Yeah, that is a good point - I'm being a little greedy wanting all my toys and two big WE's and trying to squeeze in 11 activations... :)
I guess what i am saying though, is that the meta I play in activation count is pretty high - i'm more likely to sacrifice one of the big WE's to get an extra activation, than to add any upgrades (apart from thunderfires and a SC)


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 9:52 am 
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Elsaurio wrote:
Quote:

With thee overlords, a colossus and a cyclops in there you have 5 big war engines. What would you say to a Guard player that had 3 Warhounds and 2 Reavers in thier list and having issues with only 10 activations? Granted I can see that low activations with this list might be a smallish problem that we have to address but it has to be balanced with the fact that the list is loaded up with some big fat War Engines.


You need to be a bit careful comparing accross lists as this doesn't account for build structures, strengths, weaknesses etc. For example if you do this by points rather than unit types though that happens all the time. Steel Legion bringing Reaver titan priced tank co, a couple of super heavies and a couple of warhounds (plus 500+ point reg hq). A big reason you rarely see reavers in competitive guard lists is they just aren't that good.

However, Orks who are often compared to squats will often bring a gargant and a few super stompas (plus big infantry units etc).

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:02 am 
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StevekCole wrote:
Elsaurio wrote:
Quote:

With thee overlords, a colossus and a cyclops in there you have 5 big war engines. What would you say to a Guard player that had 3 Warhounds and 2 Reavers in thier list and having issues with only 10 activations? Granted I can see that low activations with this list might be a smallish problem that we have to address but it has to be balanced with the fact that the list is loaded up with some big fat War Engines.


You need to be a bit careful comparing accross lists as this doesn't account for build structures, strengths, weaknesses etc. For example if you do this by points rather than unit types though that happens all the time. Steel Legion bringing Reaver titan priced tank co, a couple of super heavies and a couple of warhounds (plus 500+ point reg hq). A big reason you rarely see reavers in competitive guard lists is they just aren't that good.

However, Orks who are often compared to squats will often bring a gargant and a few super stompas (plus big infantry units etc).



However if you set up the Squat army list to allow 12-14 activations while including the 2 big war engines, it opens up the list to abuse, if the Squat player changes out those WE's for another 6-7 smaller units you've suddenly got a 20 activation army and a problem on your hands.

I've always found Squats to suffer less from activation starvation than most armies. The large amount of Pop Up Skimmers, Indirect Fire and Spotter means that they always have a few units that can shoot, where a lesser army might be stuck with wasting activations waiting for the opponent to come out of cover/into range.

If activations are a problem then the fix is easier than most - some formations might have to become weaker and cheaper to become the 'chaff throw aways' for the army.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:37 am 
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Elsaurio wrote:
StevekCole wrote:
Elsaurio wrote:
Quote:

With thee overlords, a colossus and a cyclops in there you have 5 big war engines. What would you say to a Guard player that had 3 Warhounds and 2 Reavers in thier list and having issues with only 10 activations? Granted I can see that low activations with this list might be a smallish problem that we have to address but it has to be balanced with the fact that the list is loaded up with some big fat War Engines.


You need to be a bit careful comparing accross lists as this doesn't account for build structures, strengths, weaknesses etc. For example if you do this by points rather than unit types though that happens all the time. Steel Legion bringing Reaver titan priced tank co, a couple of super heavies and a couple of warhounds (plus 500+ point reg hq). A big reason you rarely see reavers in competitive guard lists is they just aren't that good.

However, Orks who are often compared to squats will often bring a gargant and a few super stompas (plus big infantry units etc).



However if you set up the Squat army list to allow 12-14 activations while including the 2 big war engines, it opens up the list to abuse, if the Squat player changes out those WE's for another 6-7 smaller units you've suddenly got a 20 activation army and a problem on your hands.

I've always found Squats to suffer less from activation starvation than most armies. The large amount of Pop Up Skimmers, Indirect Fire and Spotter means that they always have a few units that can shoot, where a lesser army might be stuck with wasting activations waiting for the opponent to come out of cover/into range.

If activations are a problem then the fix is easier than most - some formations might have to become weaker and cheaper to become the 'chaff throw aways' for the army.


Agree, I think the only real activation issue for the current squat list is the 100 point thunderfires when linked to 175 point bezerkers. Everything else is reasonable (though there could be tinkering around cost of warriors, overlords, etc)

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 2: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:56 am 
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Elsaurio wrote:
Suggested solutions to the Squat Anti-Air

Righto, we've been throwing around ideas and playtesting them for the last month, let's see what we've come up with:

1: Thunderfires becoming mobile/transportable.

This is a yes in nearly everyone (and epic UK's) opinion. No need for special rules, the statline that UK has put forward is almost exactly what I wanted anyway so let's go with that.

Speed 5cm. Armour 5+ CC - FF 6+.
Thunderfire Cannons 60cm AP4+/AT4+/AA4+
Can be transported in rhinos/leviathans etc. Takes up two slots
.
[/font]

So this fella is pretty much a SM Hunter with slightly less armour, slightly more AP ability.
It needs to be transported around in a Rhino which means that it does up the break point of the formation. However it has to take a double action if it wants to move and shoot.
Note that I have given it a 5cm move, which denies the garrisoning loophole, and allows the Squat player the ability to nudge slightly without having to take a double action.


2: Thunderfires formations removed, Thunderfires become 50pt add-ons to the core choices

An idea floated around earlier, that the stand alone Thundy formation is deleted and the unit instead becomes a 0-2 +50pt add on for Warrior and Thunderer formation.

This a) Prevents Thunderfire spamming
b) Forces you to take more core choices
c) Prevents the Thunderfires from being too 'brittle' as well as allowing the unit some reasonable ranged AT shots.

I am pretty certain that idea of making them a formation upgrade is a good one, but i'm 50/50 on weather we should delete the Thunderfire-only formation too.

3: Add a AA cart to the Land Train

One of the four Land Train cards can be given over to a specialist (probably decent) AA gun.

Initially when I first got involved in AC'ing the Squats, this was one of my planned implementations, now I am not so sure. The Land Train definitely has 'space' to include such a weapon, but I do not think it is a good solution for the overall list, as it forces to the Squat player to pick one powerful Reaver-class War Engine as their AA. Secondly the Land Train is a pretty good artillery weapon and I don't want to encourage the Squats to sit back and huddle around the arty any more than they currently do.


4: Turn Gyrocopters into fully-fledged Figher Aircraft (TBolt style)

This isn't too far fetched. I mean, when Gyros first debuted in 2nd edition they were proper 'flyers' and the model can certainly be used as a flyer as is. Give it a cheapish 175point costs and weapons that are comparable to a TBolt and you're done.

5: Keep Gyros as skimmers, but still give them a weak 15-30cm (AA6+) weapon

I'm toying with this too. I am not aware of any list with light skimmer/scout AA but it I could certainly see it as balanced. The Gyrocopters could 'orbit' around large squat formations to protect them as well as double move to bring their guns to bear on any enemy aircraft.

6: Rebuild Overlords as massive AA fighting platforms (3x AA5+ was the suggestion)

Again, I like this suggestion. Overlords as they currently are need to be torn down and rebuilt and one 'style' I would like to see is Overlords as more 'support' craft rather than outright long ranged lone killer warmachines. Loading it up with AA is a way to do so!

7: Allow all war engines to take a small AA upgrade (as AMTL, but weaker

"All Squat War Engines (Except Goliaths) may take 0-1 Pintel-mounted Autocannon with the following profile for +25 points
45cm AP5+/AT6+/AA5+"

Note that Overlords would be stripped of their built-in AA under this scheme.

I kinda like this idea as it a half-strength AA upgrade that is similar to the AMTL AA option. It is a weak gun, but it is hard to suppress. Feral Orks (which similarly lack aircraft) are able to mount their AA on War Engines (and they are Macro-Weapon AA too!)


8: Give the Thunderers a slight AA ability, like the Obliterators

Again, not something that I had thought of previously and not such an odd idea either. Thunderers could be a 0-4 option for core units carrying something like 2 x Missile Launcher 45cm AP5+/AT6+/AA6+.

The only downside is that is almost exactly the planned roll for Thunderfires (attached core AA)...


Proposed Solutions to Squat Anti-Air


After a month of kicking the ideas around and playtesting I've decided to move forward with the ideas of implementing proposals 1, 2 and 7. And here is my reasoning for it:

1. It's boring. It's very much like other list structures, with Thunderfires = Hunters/Hydras and War Machine Autocannons = AMTL. This should cut down on the amount of playtest needed as the design has been testing in other army lists.

I can still see that there is a lot of scope for altering the exact composition eg: plus or minus 15cm range here, a decrease from AA5+ to AA6+ there, if any parts of it should be to strong.


2. It forces the Squat players to cluster around the large War Engines and big blocks of brotherhood warriors. Instead spamming tiny immovable TFires and hiding the artillery near them, the Squat army is free to now grind forward. It's a design goal I am very happy with seeing, as I will say it again:

The Squat army should now cluster around large War Engines and big blocks of brotherhood warriors.



Hey guys, I've updated the second post with all the collected AA wisdom and the proposed changes. Start your nay-saying discussion right away!


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:38 pm 
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I like it - at least on paper... :)
I'l give the changes a try next time I get my space dwarfs on the table.
Thanks for all the work you're putting into this list.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 2: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:52 pm 
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Elsaurio wrote:
After a month of kicking the ideas around and playtesting I've decided to move forward with the ideas of implementing proposals 1, 2 and 7. And here is my reasoning for it:


Just to be clear - in the proposal point 7, you say that Overlords will be stripped of their AA, but does that mean that the AA can still be bolted back on but at a cost? If so, could that cost be worked out to be an option within the list of *either* stripping bigger guns (thus becoming a mostly supporting craft) OR adding it on top of what it has?


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 Post subject: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:25 pm 
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Very interesting, the war engine upgrade is potentially hugely powerful as you're creating nearly unsurpassable AA to BM incoming air assaults. I think this will need a lot of testing as currently you can strip out AA fire to get in and assault other units. With it embedded in war engines and infantry units you're essentially going to create a near unsupressable 45cm zone of fire (You have to actually break the WE to suppress it). Sure, it might not be shooting much down as only a couple of shots but it will give enough bms to stop fighters activating and near guarantee the addition of bms when air assaulting.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 2: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:31 pm 
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Doomkitten wrote:
Elsaurio wrote:
After a month of kicking the ideas around and playtesting I've decided to move forward with the ideas of implementing proposals 1, 2 and 7. And here is my reasoning for it:


Just to be clear - in the proposal point 7, you say that Overlords will be stripped of their AA, but does that mean that the AA can still be bolted back on but at a cost? If so, could that cost be worked out to be an option within the list of *either* stripping bigger guns (thus becoming a mostly supporting craft) OR adding it on top of what it has?


At the moment the Overlord has been flagged as 'needing serious work' and I am unsure about what the end result will be. The way of working with it is to pretend that the list does not have access to Overlords for now.

But I am assuming that whatever we come up with for Overlords will have no AA, but the option to purchase some as per normal War Engines


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:35 pm 
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StevekCole wrote:
Very interesting, the war engine upgrade is potentially hugely powerful as you're creating nearly unsurpassable AA to BM incoming air assaults. I think this will need a lot of testing as currently you can strip out AA fire to get in and assault other units. With it embedded in war engines and infantry units you're essentially going to create a near unsupressable 45cm zone of fire (You have to actually break the WE to suppress it). Sure, it might not be shooting much down as only a couple of shots but it will give enough bms to stop fighters activating and near guarantee the addition of bms when air assaulting.


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As intended!

Every other race gets Fighters on CAP which are (for a given definition) unsurpressable too.


Feral Orks lack fighters too and they have 45cm AA5+ MACROWEAPON guns that they can bolt on for a mere 50 pts.

Eldar Titans, AMTL and Admech Ordinartus can all carry AA.

I agree that it is a touch powerful but it needs to be a touch powerful to make up for the lack of aircraft.


If testing shows that it is a problem it can be toned back down to 30cm range or AA6+


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