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Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!

 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:10 am 
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Possibly you could have the option of not making thunderers core but instead a 0-1 upgrade for warriors only with 1-2 shots hitting on 6s range 30-45. That way you don't get a huge fire output and incentivise people to take warriors over bezerkers as well. ;D

From my experience and UK tournament results, overlords without spotter are perfectly fine. Reducing the ability to build 15+ activation lists also reduces their effectiveness as you can't get a load of reply free shooting off at the end of a turn. I'd strongly suggest fixing bezerkers and thunderfires, removing spotter and playtesting a lot before getting into the great overlord stat debate again!

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:09 pm 
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StevekCole wrote:
Possibly you could have the option of not making thunderers core but instead a 0-1 upgrade for warriors only with 1-2 shots hitting on 6s range 30-45. That way you don't get a huge fire output and incentivise people to take warriors over bezerkers as well. ;D

From my experience and UK tournament results, overlords without spotter are perfectly fine. Reducing the ability to build 15+ activation lists also reduces their effectiveness as you can't get a load of reply free shooting off at the end of a turn. I'd strongly suggest fixing bezerkers and thunderfires, removing spotter and playtesting a lot before getting into the great overlord stat debate again!



Can't really say more than that because, y'know, it all makes sense.
+1, would +1 again, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:51 am 
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Sounds like v1.6 will be thunderfires as upgrade only. Additional AA probably available from OL and LT.

If so, how do AA thunderers fit in with that? - two different AA upgrade options to core formations a bit unnecessary?

AA Thunderer upgrades to core seems more valid in conjunction with E:UK thunderfire units. But it doesn't sound like that's the direction for 1.6

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:21 am 
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ffoley wrote:
Sounds like v1.6 will be thunderfires as upgrade only. Additional AA probably available from OL and LT.

If so, how do AA thunderers fit in with that? - two different AA upgrade options to core formations a bit unnecessary?

AA Thunderer upgrades to core seems more valid in conjunction with E:UK thunderfire units. But it doesn't sound like that's the direction for 1.6


It's just a suggestion on my part. My issue with attaching thunderfires to core units is it raises the need to create extra rules (eg cannot garrison) to make them work. My view is, if you want them to be mobile, go for the seperate unit towed route (like epic UK) as others create problems. My suggestion for Net Ea is that you have static 3/4 strong thunderfire units (no rhinos) to give more powerful but immobile aa while for mobile aa you could allow thunderers to be an upgrade to warriors who have some limited aa shooting. This gives an added win of making thunderers a more viable unit and encouraging the take up of warriors. So you'd only have one aa upgrade for infantry, but could also purchase more powerful static aa.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:27 pm 
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At the moment we are collecting ideas and brainstorming option for AA.

The only advice I can give is, for the moment, pretend that Overlords are out of the list. Overlords are such a problem child that they are currently sitting in time out until I can balance the rest of the list.


My current experimental, experimental playtesting is:

Thunderfires as attachment to core until (50/50 split on also deleting them as a support option.
Removing AA from Overlords.
BUT

All Squat Ware Engines have the option of purchasing Pintel-mounted flak Autocannons for +25pts

45cm AP5+/AT6+/AA5+

This is blatantly stolen from the ATML list. (althought half the strength)


It means that the Squats have a number of light AA options sprinkled throughout the army, but they are very hard to suppress (big infantry blocks and/or hard war machines).

This is the inverse of the 1.5 list which had powerful AA that was very brittle.


I am very interested in hearing everyone's ideas.

AA on the Thunderers are a good suggestion

As is stripping the Overlords of most of their offensive weaponry and making them floating AA batteries.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:41 pm 
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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

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:33 pm 
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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.


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


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:54 pm 
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What is the perfect number for army activations?

Conventional wisdom tells us that 9-12 is generally the tactical sweet spot

I do want to lower the current number down a bit - the 100 point Thunderfires are an issue.

I'm comfortable with Squats being on the slightly lower end of the spectrum - not only are you generally bringing along a large War Engine but a lot of Squat gear is Indirect or Pops-up, which somewhat circumvents the issues of low activation.

On the other hand having tunnelers means that an activation or two is off the board for 2-3 turns.

If activations become a problem I could see a little bit of reshuffling (Perhaps Mole Mortars could become 4 for 125 points, with the option on +2 units for 50 points).

Then again, the UK list has a similar issue and has also lost all the cheap activations too (Berzerkers are 200 points, thunderfires 175) so they're not much better off in terms of activation numbers


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:17 pm 
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With the UK list you can build 9-14 activation and be reasonably competitive. Eg you can spam bezerkers, thunderfires, & heavy support with a leviathan BTS alternatively you can go down the route of huge infantry cos a couple of big war engines plus some more mobile elements. As always, there's a trade off between durability and activations in there. I guess the point is a good list should allow for variant builds rather than a monobuild approach.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:05 pm 
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E:UK players appear to be consistently taking the full third (1000) on WE and getting a good number of strong activations out of the remaining 2000 points including AA. I feel its about making sure that stretching activations above a total of 10 (including 2 big WEs) comes with some significant down side in terms of quality (and risk of weaker activation loss).

Incidentally Els, I think your proposed 3k looks very weak in AA with only 2 thunderfire and an autocannon.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:20 pm 
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I'm running 10 activations with squats these days. I got sick of my infantry having no staying power.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:13 am 
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ffoley wrote:
Incidentally Els, I think your proposed 3k looks very weak in AA with only 2 thunderfire and an autocannon.


I agree, which is why I was considering upping the number of allowed thunderfires you can attach per core formation.


I quite like the concept of embedding AA into tough units (core formation, big WE's) but it's a matter of tweaking the numbers until you get a balanced amount of AA.

What is the 'standard' amount of AA you usually see on a guard army? 2-3 attached Hydras and a squad or two of thunderbolts?


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 4:47 am 
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From what I've seen in lists anything from two to four hydra (one formation and one addition, or multiple additions), then one or two formations of thunderbolts.

4 or 5 in a 3k army is not unreasonable at all. More than that isn't always a terrible thing either.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:23 am 
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In 3k I'd be reluctant to field guard with less than a unit of hydras, unit of t-bolts, and 3+ embedded hydras.

I'd also be pretty wary of aa on war engines. Near unsuppressable aa is amazing, even if only putting a bm on. The Cyclops and colossus are plenty good without being upgunned on that front.

It's also worth thinking about the strategic function of aa. Embedded aa tends to be about being able to ward off air assaults through the threat of a bm on coming in plus being able to bm exiting aircraft. Dedicated units are scarier, usually in the you will lose a fighter, bomber or potentially take a dc air assaulting if they fire on you. Likewise capping aircraft (with the added benefit of bullying broken units, LVs, etc). As such embedding lots of aa guns into infantry could be a bit too potent, you get all the shooting but none of the suppression/vulnerablity issues.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Talk 4: Anti-Air Guns!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 9:26 am 
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StevekCole wrote:
In 3k I'd be reluctant to field guard with less than a unit of hydras, unit of t-bolts, and 3+ embedded hydras.

I'd also be pretty wary of aa on war engines. Near unsuppressable aa is amazing, even if only putting a bm on. The Cyclops and colossus are plenty good without being upgunned on that front.

It's also worth thinking about the strategic function of aa. Embedded aa tends to be about being able to ward off air assaults through the threat of a bm on coming in plus being able to bm exiting aircraft. Dedicated units are scarier, usually in the you will lose a fighter, bomber or potentially take a dc air assaulting if they fire on you. Likewise capping aircraft (with the added benefit of bullying broken units, LVs, etc). As such embedding lots of aa guns into infantry could be a bit too potent, you get all the shooting but none of the suppression/vulnerablity issues.



I agree, but that is intentional. I was aiming the AA to be very similar in power and selection method to Imperial AA, with a slight bump to accomodate the lack of thunderbolts. The WE AA is intended to be that 'slight bump'.

At worst, you're including one or two 5+ AA guns that although thought and unlikely to suppress, are also slow and unlikely to be the target of aircraft anyway.

Play testing will be needed for this anyway.


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