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Feedback for netea from the first year of Epic UK Squats

 Post subject: Feedback for netea from the first year of Epic UK Squats
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 3:39 pm 
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Ok, so we’ve had the Epic UK squat list for a year now. I’ve played 13 official tournament games with it this year plus a load of unofficial tournament (club league, club derby) and just knock about games. Having used the Netea list loads in 2015 I imagine I’ve got some good insight into the differences between the two lists and so I thought I’d give my tuppence on what the netea list could do next. I’m not covering everything as I think some units are fine the way they are.

The core function of both lists is very similar. They essentially play as something between Steel Legion and Ghaz orks. They are powerful in the early game due to some serious ranged firepower, with good mobility (but that can be degraded), and some strong but far from top tier assault units who usually try to bully the enemy after they’ve taken some heavy shooting. They’re a good list but personally I find them lacking assault punch in comparison to the very best armies (eg biel tan who are my other main army).

For me, the big netea issues are:
• Only sensible core choices are bezerkers
• AA
• Easy to spam activations
• Spotter
• Stubborn

Spotter and Stubborn
Just remove them. They’re overly complex, slow play down and at their worst can allow you to do pretty gamey things with them. I also think spotter is the reason people are finding overlords so powerful (so the overlord issue is a subset of the spotter issue). For me the most powerful net ea list would take 3 small land trains (one with a rad bomb) and use spotter to spank everything in sight with MW barrage for as long as possible.

1+ to rally
Epic UK dropped this – obviously as a Squat player I liked this. Both as a buff to my army and a thematic element (squats were always really hard to break). I think it’s worth persisiting with this in play testing without stubborn but it should be carefully monitored and dropped if it proves just to good.

Warriors
Dead simple this one. Cut their price to 250 points for 9+hearthguard – a la epic UK. That change has worked well. Give them an extra 4 models upgrade for 50-75 points.

Bezerkers
200 points for 7 + hearthguard (no 6 strong options).

Warlords
Make them 50 points, 75 is too pricey. At 50 they’re a viable option.

AA
I like the thunderfires towed by rhinos in the UK list. I think that’s a well balanced unit. Yes they’re AVs, yes they’re fast, yes they have good range but the army doesn’t have CAP units. 3 x 4+ will deter fighters, and put a BM on air assaults but you’re not in shooting down a thunderhawk stage (which is how it should be).
I know there’s some controversy over this for the net ea list. Cards on the table I don’t like the idea of thunderfires + transports being an add on to infantry. Mainly because you then end up making rules to unpick core rules (ie the infantry unit cannot garrison) which gets messy and confusing quickly. Instead, if you’re not going thunderfires with rhinos as a separate unit go for a combination of:
• 3-4 thunderfires, no rhinos for 175-200 points. Gives you a serious AA bubble but has to garrison so no mobility plus pretty vulnerable and removes the 100 point thunderfire spam option
• Give thunderers AA6 on their missile launchers (though maybe drop the range to 30cm). Make them an addition to warrior units only (somewhere in the region of 75-100) for 2 plus a rhino. This gives you a mobile AA unit but one that is a BM placer only (unless you get lucky) but also encourages people to take warriors. In addition, thunderers are currently a bit redundant so it brings another unit into use.
• Overlord I’ll come to separately

Gyros
Ok, I love the epic uk gyros. For me, they’re better than overlords because of the combination of scout, being able to actually hide and their superior movement means you get better shooting positions and crossfire despite having marginally less firepower (4 battlecannons, 8 autos vs 6 battlecannons, 4 autos). Personally, I’d import these straight across to the Net EA list. At 250 points they present a real dilemma for the squat player (ie do you use them as scout screens to protect war engines – or do you keep them safe at the back of the board before powering in on turn 3). Netea ones could probably do with moving up to something similar as 300 points for 4 with battlecannons but not scout and 200 points for 4 with scout but no battlecannons are both a bit meh (though 4 with spotter is currently very useful - 105cm march + 45cm spotter for macro death to anything on the board).

Overlords
The controversy! It’s fair to say Australia and the UK seem to be in very different places on these guys. Personally, as the year went on I’ve become less and less enamoured with overlords. This seems to be the general rule on the UK tournament scene. I’ve gone from 2 in Jan to none, Mark’s gone from 3 to one. They’re shooting is great if folk are in the open and you are sustaining or advancing. Clever players simply use cover and force you to double. They also die instantly in assaults. I mean I’ve lost these things to rough riders.
I’d definitely get rid of spotter as if they’re calling down a load of MW sustain barrages then they do tend to survive and even prosper. You’re far less likely to be assaulted if everything within 75cm is getting pounded by 3 land trains. If you really want to nerf them further remove the AA shot – personally I don’t think they need that extra debuff and I definitely wouldn’t take them without the AA (that’s the only perk they give me over gyros).

Mole mortars
0.5bp or 1bp each they’re still rubbish. Not sure what can be done with them as they seem rather controversial. If you did start boosting the range they would get a bit good a bit quickly and would definitely need a points boost. I think they’ll just be one of those units that only get used in fun or thematic games. Which is fine.

War engines
Dropping all of them to a 5+ close assault is worth thinking about – makes them a bit more vulnerable to being broken in close assault.

Land Train
For me this is the one war engine which doesn’t quite work. Ideally, it should be the assault war engine (cyclops is the titan killer, colossus is the infantry killer). I suggest keeping the dragon car, making the bomb car slow to fire (with a points drop), making the mortar line up with the UK version (so you then have a real choice between more regular shooting at short range, or less regular long range) but changing the base chassis to 5+ ff, 5+ CC but adding an additional upgrade for bezerker cars adding +1ff and +1 cc (up to a maximum of 3+). Points would definitely need to go up (75-100 per car) but this would give it a clearer purpose, turning it into the war engine you try to ram down your opponent’s throat.

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 Post subject: Re: Feedback for netea from the first year of Epic UK Squats
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:19 am 
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Having played Squats for most of the last year I agree with a lot of what Steve has to say. In general the Epic UK list works well, I guess the question is does the NetEA list want to emulate what has proved to be a good, balanced list or does it want to try something else for reasons of variety?

On Steve's points:

Thunderers
Getting an AA shot would really put them in contention, and putting them in Warrior units would also give another reason not to just take all Bezerkers.

Overlords
An iconic Squat unit and it would be a shame to see them disappear entirely from Squat armies because of one Tourney(Cancon) where they were taken on mass. I've played against this list and wasn't hugely impressed but can see how in a different meta it could be game breaking. In my experience at least one Overlord dies early turn one most games due to Shadowsword/Spaceship TK/Air assault etc. In the games where they do survive they offer the Squats something different and unique largely due to Support craft being excellent for OW/Sustain purposes. They are very solid and can be situationally brilliant.
In terms of balance I would also remove spotter and if it is an issue in a different meta(Which I can appreciate) cap the unit at something like 0-3. There's probably only 1 or 2 Squat players out there this would affect anyway. ;)

Mole mortars -

My recommendation on this unit would be to cap the unit at 3 BP(0.5 each) and increase the range to 45cm.
Makes them very similar to two tried and tested units:
(a) Imp Guard Howitzers with half range but disrupt and ability to garrison/Infantry cover saves.
(b) Nightspinners with less movement to redeploy/grab objectives but garrison/bigger unit.
Personally I think this makes them weaker than the former but better than the latter. About right for the focus of these armies?

Land Train
I actually prefer the NetEA version, there's at least a few good builds I can see with this. Obviously, if you were to remove spotter the Rad Bomb and Mortar bomb would need to be looked at.

Just my 2c.

Mark

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 Post subject: Re: Feedback for netea from the first year of Epic UK Squats
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 4:10 pm 
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StevekCole wrote:
Land Train
For me this is the one war engine which doesn’t quite work. Ideally, it should be the assault war engine (cyclops is the titan killer, colossus is the infantry killer). I suggest keeping the dragon car, making the bomb car slow to fire (with a points drop), making the mortar line up with the UK version (so you then have a real choice between more regular shooting at short range, or less regular long range) but changing the base chassis to 5+ ff, 5+ CC but adding an additional upgrade for bezerker cars adding +1ff and +1 cc (up to a maximum of 3+). Points would definitely need to go up (75-100 per car) but this would give it a clearer purpose, turning it into the war engine you try to ram down your opponent’s throat.

I like the idea of an assault Land Train, but think it needs a bump to 20cm move if it's going to be remotely effective. The one time I tried a Land Train with a bunch of Bezerker cars it was so slow it was trivial for my opponent to avoid.


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 Post subject: Re: Feedback for netea from the first year of Epic UK Squats
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:56 pm 
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taiaha wrote:
I like the idea of an assault Land Train, but think it needs a bump to 20cm move if it's going to be remotely effective. The one time I tried a Land Train with a bunch of Bezerker cars it was so slow it was trivial for my opponent to avoid.


You could just gargant it up onto 2 T&H objectives sitting (ideally near a 3rd objective) in the middle of the board and use it gain T&H and deny TSNP & BTS to your opponent. Even in their current form landtrains take some shifting!

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 Post subject: Re: Feedback for netea from the first year of Epic UK Squats
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:04 am 
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StevekCole wrote:
Ok, so we’ve had the Epic UK squat list for a year now. I’ve played 13 official tournament games with it this year plus a load of unofficial tournament (club league, club derby) and just knock about games. Having used the Netea list loads in 2015 I imagine I’ve got some good insight into the differences between the two lists and so I thought I’d give my tuppence on what the netea list could do next. I’m not covering everything as I think some units are fine the way they are.

The core function of both lists is very similar. They essentially play as something between Steel Legion and Ghaz orks. They are powerful in the early game due to some serious ranged firepower, with good mobility (but that can be degraded), and some strong but far from top tier assault units who usually try to bully the enemy after they’ve taken some heavy shooting. They’re a good list but personally I find them lacking assault punch in comparison to the very best armies (eg biel tan who are my other main army).

For me, the big netea issues are:
• Only sensible core choices are bezerkers
• AA
• Easy to spam activations
• Spotter
• Stubborn


Have to agree. You're pretty close to what most people are reporting here as issues. We've just released the new NetEA Squat list so I thought it would be worth seeing how it measured up to your concerns.

Quote:

Spotter and Stubborn
Just remove them. They’re overly complex, slow play down and at their worst can allow you to do pretty gamey things with them. I also think spotter is the reason people are finding overlords so powerful (so the overlord issue is a subset of the spotter issue). For me the most powerful net ea list would take 3 small land trains (one with a rad bomb) and use spotter to spank everything in sight with MW barrage for as long as possible.


Stubborn was removed, it wasn't a broken rule, but it was one too many special rules for not enough gain.

We tried running around without Spotter, and found that without spotter, aircraft or fast units then the enemy just ran rings around the Squats. We've put it back in with a weaker, streamlined version to test.

Nearly every issue with the spotter complaints has come back to "....and with 4BP MW on the land train..." making me believe more and more that the problem is with the 4BP land train, not the spotter. The jump from 3Bp to 4BP is HUGE and it's difficult to balance.

One option we are thinking is to make the Land Train's main cannon Spotter-linked, but NOT the Siege Mortar. So you can spotter-link 3BP but you need clear sight to be 4BP.

Or just remove the 4BP option completely.....

Quote:


1+ to rally
Epic UK dropped this – obviously as a Squat player I liked this. Both as a buff to my army and a thematic element (squats were always really hard to break). I think it’s worth persisiting with this in play testing without stubborn but it should be carefully monitored and dropped if it proves just to good.



Definately keeping the +1 to rally. Every army has some sort of bonus to activations somewhere, and the Squat rule is simple and thematic.

Quote:

Warriors
Dead simple this one. Cut their price to 250 points for 9+hearthguard – a la epic UK. That change has worked well. Give them an extra 4 models upgrade for 50-75 points.

Bezerkers
200 points for 7 + hearthguard (no 6 strong options).

Warlords
Make them 50 points, 75 is too pricey. At 50 they’re a viable option.


Agree on Warlords. Had a big shuffle around in the Infantry. Lots of options now, similar to Orks

Quote:

AA
I like the thunderfires towed by rhinos in the UK list. I think that’s a well balanced unit. Yes they’re AVs, yes they’re fast, yes they have good range but the army doesn’t have CAP units. 3 x 4+ will deter fighters, and put a BM on air assaults but you’re not in shooting down a thunderhawk stage (which is how it should be).
I know there’s some controversy over this for the net ea list. Cards on the table I don’t like the idea of thunderfires + transports being an add on to infantry. Mainly because you then end up making rules to unpick core rules (ie the infantry unit cannot garrison) which gets messy and confusing quickly. Instead, if you’re not going thunderfires with rhinos as a separate unit go for a combination of:
• 3-4 thunderfires, no rhinos for 175-200 points. Gives you a serious AA bubble but has to garrison so no mobility plus pretty vulnerable and removes the 100 point thunderfire spam option
• Give thunderers AA6 on their missile launchers (though maybe drop the range to 30cm). Make them an addition to warrior units only (somewhere in the region of 75-100) for 2 plus a rhino. This gives you a mobile AA unit but one that is a BM placer only (unless you get lucky) but also encourages people to take warriors. In addition, thunderers are currently a bit redundant so it brings another unit into use.
• Overlord I’ll come to separately



Went with the towed Thunderfires and giving them 5cm movement shut down the garrison problem without the need for fiddly rules. Pretty happy with where they are sitting but they might need a +1/-1 somewhere.

Quote:


Gyros
Ok, I love the epic uk gyros. For me, they’re better than overlords because of the combination of scout, being able to actually hide and their superior movement means you get better shooting positions and crossfire despite having marginally less firepower (4 battlecannons, 8 autos vs 6 battlecannons, 4 autos). Personally, I’d import these straight across to the Net EA list. At 250 points they present a real dilemma for the squat player (ie do you use them as scout screens to protect war engines – or do you keep them safe at the back of the board before powering in on turn 3). Netea ones could probably do with moving up to something similar as 300 points for 4 with battlecannons but not scout and 200 points for 4 with scout but no battlecannons are both a bit meh (though 4 with spotter is currently very useful - 105cm march + 45cm spotter for macro death to anything on the board).



We did copy the Uk gyros, but still found the range a bit too long and the cost a bit to high. So we shortened the range to 45cm and cehaper made them behave almost exactly like Landspeeders, which are a both useful and not too exotic.

Quote:

Overlords
The controversy! It’s fair to say Australia and the UK seem to be in very different places on these guys. Personally, as the year went on I’ve become less and less enamoured with overlords. This seems to be the general rule on the UK tournament scene. I’ve gone from 2 in Jan to none, Mark’s gone from 3 to one. They’re shooting is great if folk are in the open and you are sustaining or advancing. Clever players simply use cover and force you to double. They also die instantly in assaults. I mean I’ve lost these things to rough riders.
I’d definitely get rid of spotter as if they’re calling down a load of MW sustain barrages then they do tend to survive and even prosper. You’re far less likely to be assaulted if everything within 75cm is getting pounded by 3 land trains. If you really want to nerf them further remove the AA shot – personally I don’t think they need that extra debuff and I definitely wouldn’t take them without the AA (that’s the only perk they give me over gyros).


Went though maaaaaaaany iteration of the Overlord set up. The arguments about 'different metas' is valid, especially as terrain comes into it, but simply working out the firepower vs every possible unit showed that Overlords were even more shooty than Shadoswords/Warhounds, who are 'top picks' in the relative weight class.

We're currently going with a 'short range, lots of FF' version to test, which is easy to balance, less spammable and tougher in assaults.

It always annoyed me that the best way to kill a floating Goodyear blimp was in HAND TO HAND.
Quote:


Mole mortars
0.5bp or 1bp each they’re still rubbish. Not sure what can be done with them as they seem rather controversial. If you did start boosting the range they would get a bit good a bit quickly and would definitely need a points boost. I think they’ll just be one of those units that only get used in fun or thematic games. Which is fine.



I absolutely love my 0.5 Mole mortars and think that 1BP is OP. If I built a Squat UK list I'd be spamming those guys every time.
Quote:

War engines
Dropping all of them to a 5+ close assault is worth thinking about – makes them a bit more vulnerable to being broken in close assault.

Land Train
For me this is the one war engine which doesn’t quite work. Ideally, it should be the assault war engine (cyclops is the titan killer, colossus is the infantry killer). I suggest keeping the dragon car, making the bomb car slow to fire (with a points drop), making the mortar line up with the UK version (so you then have a real choice between more regular shooting at short range, or less regular long range) but changing the base chassis to 5+ ff, 5+ CC but adding an additional upgrade for bezerker cars adding +1ff and +1 cc (up to a maximum of 3+). Points would definitely need to go up (75-100 per car) but this would give it a clearer purpose, turning it into the war engine you try to ram down your opponent’s throat.


War Engine CC done.

Land Train got quite a tweak and it's not quite there yet.

It's meant to be the 'flexible' WE - you can choose the 4 arm weapons just like an Ad Mech titan. In the 1.6 list you can arm it up with Dragon and Bezerker cars and 'ramm it down your throat'

I'm open to making a Land Train the Assault WE if the current make up doesn't work. One issue would be: Can you come up with 4 different assaulty-themed cars then?

One last thought - what if the Land Train engine, Bezerker and Dragon all had move 20cm, and the mortar/rad bomb had 15cm? That means if you go assaulty, you're fast but if you pick up 4BP you slow the whole train down?

Thanks for the Feedback!


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 Post subject: Re: Feedback for netea from the first year of Epic UK Squats
PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:24 pm 
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I think the Rad Missile on the land train should be a 1 shot weapon. That should solve a lot of the problems, and then most people will put it on the back or the land train, and only use it for larger LT builds.

Make the Land Train move at 20cm if you only have 2 cars on it, and 15cm if you have 3 or 4 cars on it. The LT engine needs more power to pull more cars, and the cars can only supply a small amount of power, as they need some for their shield, and their weapons. Also limit Land Trains so they are a 0-2 formation.

I love the mole mortars. Make them useful by allowing them to ignore enemy shields, as they come up from below the ground near a Titan or Gargants feet. If the Unit has a shield that are say Holofields or shadowfield, then the Mole Mortar is -1 to hit as the enemy still has to spot at them from range, but hits do not take down shields, they affect the DC/armour directly. It gives them another purpose, and makes them a unit that you must look at avoiding its short range bubble. 3BP is not much, and it main purpose would be to annoy the enemy, and perhaps get a lucky hit in now and then.

Overlords - Make all their weapon ranges maximum 45cm. It has worked to Nerf the new Dark Eldar list a bit, but most of that Nerfing has been to limit the amount of MW (TK) weapons DE get, and ensure they are only TK(1). A similar idea could be to make sure the weapons on the Overlord a role specific. Good against infantry but poor against tanks, good against tanks, but poor against infantry. You might want to increase the amount of weapons the overlord takes to still make them useful though. Also make their formations 0-3 formations with 2 to 3 units in a formation. I like the idea of only 1 unit in the formation gets the AA weapon upgrade.

As to the Spotter rule, You could make it that if the spotting unit moves at double the shooting unit loses its +1 to hit from sustained, and any unit that moves at triple speed can not spot for other units. Either that or reduce the range of the spotter rule down to 45cm.

As to Thunderers, I thing the Missile Launcher, and 2 Heavy Bolters is a bit too much. Perhaps remove one Heavy Bolter, or increase their price to make them harder to spam. Maybe put them in the support role rather than in the Core Brotherhood role, however that might make adding the Thunderfire cannon harder.

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