Tactical Command

EXPERIMENTAL: AdMech Gryphonne IV Cataphractii REDUX v0.2
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Author:  Armiger84 [ Tue May 01, 2018 5:00 am ]
Post subject:  EXPERIMENTAL: AdMech Gryphonne IV Cataphractii REDUX v0.2

Yes, it's been a month and a half since Vaaish announced I'd be taking over the Skitarii Armor list. I didn't want to rush anything out initially because I knew there was going to be a whole lot of playtesting going on around a lot of other lists, and I didn't really want to dilute that. Work got busy too, but that's life.

Also, it's surprisingly difficult to create an armor list that shares a lot of vehicles with the basic Imperial Guard and create a unique-feeling list that isn't just "Better Minervans."

For now I'm giving this its own thread. Mods, if you'd prefer, I'll roll it into the existing Gryphonne thread.

The List (v0.2c)

I'm treating the previous iteration of the Gryphonne IV list as "v0.1" and this list as v0.2; will update the revision control accordingly if I'm off on my count there.


Take a look, let me know what you think. I’d be happy to expand on the thought process behind certain unit decisions, especially the Dunecrawler stats, if people are curious.

Edit (2018.07.23): Minor update - renamed most formations for ease of reference. More to come once I start getting playtest minis assembled & painted.

Author:  Armiger84 [ Tue May 01, 2018 5:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: EXPERIMENTAL: AdMech Gryphonne IV Cataphractii REDUX v0

I. Design Concept & Theme

So, how do you build an armor list that isn't just "Better Minervans?" I started with the previous version of the list, but I'm not wedded to it. I was given one sacred calf that I couldn't slaughter, and asked to be respectful of the folks who might have built collections for the previous experimental list.

I've tried to abide by those guidelines, but there is nothing set in stone here. If something truly needs to come out or something else truly needs to come in, it'll happen. If formation sizes need to grow or contract to better fit game balance, it'll happen.

Before starting to mess with the list, I stepped back a little and had a thought experiment: "If I'm a Skitarii Alpha with literally the entire productive capacity of a forge world at my dendrites' distal phalanges, how would I build a mechanized force?" Simplest, most straight-forward solution: pick the perfect tank for each combat role, and spam the Omnissiah-praising heck out of it.

That's wonderful, but "all overpowered tanks, all the time" isn't exactly a theme. Nor is "Everybody gets MW!" So I took away a few options, and replaced them with alternatives that are either fewer in number (Shadowswords replaced with Ordinatus Minoris from the Allies section), less durable (Valdor tank hunters replaced with Dunecrawler Annihilators), or shorter-ranged (added in Dunecrawler Onagers). I won't pretend it solves the cheese issue entirely, but I hope it's an incremental step in that direction.

This is a list that wants to grind forward and advance up to the mid-line, although it's going to be a slower-moving force compared to Eldar or ground marines. It's going to suffer when facing swarms of infantry, unless you bring in Allied units that can answer those sorts of threats. It's also going to be extremely vulnerable to air assaults if the attacker can make it through the flak screen, but, well, it's an army of tanks, what do you expect?

II. Regarding the Lore...

So, we have literally decades of marginalia around the Skitarii, as well as two editions of codices (7th Edition, 8th Edition) to reconcile. That covers everything from Gryphonne IV testing the Leman Russ Conqueror by deploying entire companies of the tank in support of the War Gryphons as outriders, to statements like "Ryza's Skitarii are exclusively kitted out with the Leman Russ Executioner" on the one hand, and maniples of Onager Dunecrawlers and Ironstriders on the other.

My goal was to provide a list that allows the player to go theme for pure Leman Russes or Dunecrawlers, or anything in between. I’m hoping to provide Skitarii generals with specialized tanks in manageable numbers, and allow them to build lists that could be recognizably themed to a couple of different forge worlds off of this list. Ryza should be viable, as should Gryphonne, and a more generic “Martian” list.

For now I’ve kept the Horus Heresy tanks out of the list, but only because Forge World seems to be in no hurry to import things like the Krios or Karacnos, or any of the Thallaxi into 40K. There’s probably a reason for that. That said, if Forge World does release an Adeptus Mechanicus Supplement book that advances the lore, I’ll happily incorporate them at that time.

III. Balance & New Units

Please everyone and you'll please no one. That said, for now I'm starting this off with what might potentially be over-inclusion, as well as some potential overlapping between unit types. I'd rather give some specific combinations an opportunity to be tested and units can drop out of the list if playtesting dictates in order to keep things balanced.

I opted to bring in the Dunecrawler variants as an alternative armored unit. There aren't any official models available, but there are some proxy options that can fit most variants with a little converting, and a few options on the Shapers-of-Ways, if you know what to look for.

Based on the 40K rules, their chassis is roughly armored up like a Space Marine Predator, plus an invulnerable save. This gets you a cheaper and more fragile main line unit if you so desire, and a way of building an army such that you're not cloning the Minervan list.

I opted to bring in the Ironstriders as well, and while I don't think there's an easily accessible Shapers-of-Ways stand-in, a little converting on a Sentinel chassis, especially the old plastic ones, should get you something recognizable. They're there for cheap scouting activations, and to provide an actual assault unit to escort your armor (and so that there's at least one activation in the list that doesn't have MW).

I also took out the Manticore. I figure this one's going to catch me a lot of flack, but, think back to that first statement about not making this just "Better Minervans." Instead, I added Ordinatus Minoris as an Allies option. I figure this makes sense, and gives you either direct-fire alternatives, or weaker indirect fire-capable salvoes, but overall afford a little more balance and helps keep the army advancing relentlessly toward the enemy instead of standing back and shooting. I'm almost wondering if I should expand the Allies section to include Praetorian Combat Servitors too.

The army list-wide special rules came out for now. They might go back in, but to be honest, Leman Russes with invulnerable saves weren’t going to be fun to fight against, and most of the leadership-based modifications present in the current Adeptus Mechanicus Codex really don’t translate well into Epic: Armageddon. Plus, balancing and scaling army-wide special rules is rough, and I’m not sure I’m quite up to the challenge at the moment.

Author:  Norto [ Tue May 01, 2018 6:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: EXPERIMENTAL: AdMech Gryphonne IV Cataphractii REDUX v0

Hey man,

Nice work on the list. Loving the new 40k models in it.

Only a couple of comments so far
30cm lascannons while other lascannons are 45cm? Landing craft for example.
Spacecraft I think is 200 Points in the skitarii list?

Also whats the Alpha do? I think Ive missed it.

Will try and get me some games in with it :D

Author:  Vaaish [ Tue May 01, 2018 1:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EXPERIMENTAL: AdMech Gryphonne IV Cataphractii REDUX v0

I think this sounds like a well reasoned approach to the list and it looks like a good first draft to kick things off. Far better than our old version.

My criticism at the moment is really just limited to nomenclature. I think we should try to tone down some of the Greek/Latin formation names here. I don't think we gain a lot by it here and it makes the list harder to understand without seeing the full list. I'd keep the names simple unless you have to differentiate as in the case of the dune crawlers.

Author:  Armiger84 [ Wed May 02, 2018 2:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: EXPERIMENTAL: AdMech Gryphonne IV Cataphractii REDUX v0

Norto wrote:
Only a couple of comments so far
30cm lascannons while other lascannons are 45cm? Landing craft for example.
Spacecraft I think is 200 Points in the skitarii list?

Also whats the Alpha do? I think Ive missed it.

Thanks for catching some of those, and for giving the list a shot!

I've rolled out a minor update, v0.2b, with a few corrections:
- Skitarii Alphas grant Inspiring & Leader. Previously they were going to serve as conduits for your choice of army-wide special rules... except those special rules were getting redundant. I changed my mind but forgot to update the entry.
- I corrected the Ark Mechanicus entry; not sure where I got 150 from; might have been an earlier version of the Skitarii list.

As for the Tetrarch's weapon ranges, those were a straight port from the Cataphractii v0.1 list. Next big update to the list (v0.3) will either see the weapon ranges readjusted or the weapon names changed; I haven't quite decided which. I want to check with Vaaish first for his input on the initial design of the Lander. I've already tweaked it in a small but significant way by increasing the capacity by 1 tank/DC, and adding Ordinatus to the list's Allies means you could potentially drop a pair of cheap Minoris or a trio of Macharius on top of an opponent. Lots of testing to be done around that, and I wouldn't be surprised if the Tetrarch gets tweaked a bit more.

I realize I used a lot of ancient Greek terminology when naming the tank formations. I initially did that for thematic purposes, but if it's overkill, I'd be happy to switch back to more traditional naming schemes.

If anyone's a native or fluent speaker and wants to check my work, here's an idea of my intentions:
Hippeis - cavalry
Phalangites - phalanx soldiers
Kynigoi - hunters
Toxoti - skirmishing archers (AA)
Thorakitai - flexible armored infantry
Hetairoi - companion cavalry (because why not have your Strategos riding a Baneblade?)
Peltasts - light skirmishing infantry
Tarantines - light skirmishing cavalry

Like I said, if the general consensus is that I went a little overboard or that I'm breaking from established norms, I'll dial it back ;)

Author:  mordoten [ Wed May 02, 2018 6:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: EXPERIMENTAL: AdMech Gryphonne IV Cataphractii REDUX v0

I would prefer less greek names.

Author:  Armiger84 [ Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EXPERIMENTAL: AdMech Gryphonne IV Cataphractii REDUX v0

Ok, my year-defining massive regulatory audit for work is over, so I'm resurfacing once more. I didn't have my personal laptop while I was out of state for the past month or so, and didn't want to try to mess with Excel files in Google drive from a cell phone, so things were on pause for most of June/July.

Big wins for the summer so far have been painting a Ravager, 2 Ferals, and a couple of Decimators and Defilers for my Iron Warriors, and those were all half-started projects to begin with ;)

Based on initial feedback, I've updated the naming conventions for the army list. While I think doubling own on classical Greek military nomenclature was fluffier (after all, Skitarii is a corruption of "scutarius"), I totally understand the value in making things easier to identify. Everyone knows what a Leman Russ is, after all.

I haven't made any major rules tweaks to the list yet, but I've been able to unpack my Dunecrawler analogs from storage and sourced some Leman Russes that should be arriving soon, so I'll be painting and starting to playtest the ruleset with the Pennsylvania & Connecticut folks in the coming weeks and months.

Without tipping my hand too much, things I'm interested in exploring:
- Dunecrawler variants - viable?
- Heavy Tanks in a Tetrarch Lander - too OP?
- Adding "Scout" to Leman Russ Conquerors - it's a cavalry tank that can't effectively screen without something to make it more useful, and I don't think I've ever seen anyone take them in the Minervans list. Really curious to see if this is too much of an upgrade (30cm move, reinforced armor, but unimpressive shooting and firefight), or if the lack of special rules like "Fearless" keeps them reasonable.
- Lightning Primaris stats/cost. I lifted both from the Horus Heresy (AUS) folks, but to my knowledge they haven't appeared in any Developmental or Approved lists yet.

Author:  Vaaish [ Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: EXPERIMENTAL: AdMech Gryphonne IV Cataphractii REDUX v0

Looks pretty good.

Initially, I don't think dunecrawler variants are needed. It's possible they could work, but I think you'd end up stepping on other formations to do it.

I'd also be interested to see some tests with scout russes. Could be fun.

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