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Squats: Thurgrimm's Stronghold List, 1.4

 Post subject: Re: Squats: Thurgrimm's Stronghold List, 1.4
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:53 am 
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Got at last another games vs Biel-tan.
Hadn't read 1.4 before so I made a few mistakes mostly in composing the army but tried using a few units and tactics i hadn't tried out before:

Robots as AV - They do feel tougher this way. Nice.

Tarantulas - tried the HB version. Ok. Pretty crappy but they are well represented as simple sentry guns.

Mole with berserker formation - Used it to (predictably) capture the blitz on turn 3. The berserkers don't have a chance unless supported by something. I just can't see what. What do you guys use for supporting assaults? Just rely on big warrior formations? The tunneler rules work great like they are. Pretty simple to me. You use it and then dump it. But in the list the moles and termites seem to be part of the formation and you can't leave them behind when moving? Is this correct.

2 Colossus - When did the WE changed to 2+ initiative? Weren't they supposed to be slow but unstoppable big engines? To be honest didnt seem to affect the game all that much but still seems wrong to me.

Spotter rules - Working nicely.

Stubborn rules - from all the versions i tried i loved this the most. It reallly captures the feel of the space dwarves.

Iron Hawks/Eagles - Interesting twist. I used them the old way by mistake (5 strong formation) but I am curious to try them out.


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 Post subject: Re: Squats: Thurgrimm's Stronghold List, 1.4
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:09 am 
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settra wrote:
Got at last another games vs Biel-tan.
Hadn't read 1.4 before so I made a few mistakes mostly in composing the army but tried using a few units and tactics i hadn't tried out before:

Robots as AV - They do feel tougher this way. Nice.


I agree. They seem much better and it matches the fluff more accurately; win-win.

Quote:
Tarantulas - tried the HB version. Ok. Pretty crappy but they are well represented as simple sentry guns.
My last game with them had the units performing pretty well. It's a throw away formation though so I don't think anyone should pick them expecting them to be the game changers.

Quote:
Mole with berserker formation - Used it to (predictably) capture the blitz on turn 3. The berserkers don't have a chance unless supported by something. I just can't see what. What do you guys use for supporting assaults? Just rely on big warrior formations? The tunneler rules work great like they are. Pretty simple to me. You use it and then dump it. But in the list the moles and termites seem to be part of the formation and you can't leave them behind when moving? Is this correct.

Two issues here. On the rule change, I made it so the termites are simply discarded as ruins. They surface, release the stunties, and then the models just sit there. Moles were changed to WEs to 1) account for their size and 2) make the rule of allowing it to be an independent war engine. Now the WE tunnelers can pop out of the ground and potentially hold / contest an objective by itself. That's handy.

On the strategy of a turn 3 surface, I haven't had a blitz grab go right yet. I've been successful with the tunnelers by bringing them up mid-board on turn 2. On one occasion I had them pop up on MY blitz because I knew my opponent was going to make a beeline for it which he did. Boy was he surprised!

Quote:
2 Colossus - When did the WE changed to 2+ initiative? Weren't they supposed to be slow but unstoppable big engines? To be honest didn't seem to affect the game all that much but still seems wrong to me.


They've been 2+ since the beginning... :eh Seriously, they have. The Initiative was designed to be very simple. 2+ for activation, 1+ for rallying. I suppose they could be changed, but so far I haven't seen much to justify the move to a 1+ initiative for them.

Glad you are getting some games in with them! 1.4.1 will fix the mistakes I made to the Overlord armament when I reformatted the army list and some other minor bits.

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 Post subject: Re: Squats: Thurgrimm's Stronghold List, 1.4
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:28 pm 
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Was thinking of playing Squats tonight. I have no problems with the minor changes proposed and am happy with the list as it is.

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 Post subject: Re: Squats: Thurgrimm's Stronghold List, 1.4
PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:38 am 
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2+ initiative ? Oh crap, i was looking at version (1.0) in paper and 1.4 in pdf while playing. No wonder things got confusing :)


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 Post subject: Re: Squats: Thurgrimm's Stronghold List, 1.4
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:51 am 
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A week and a bit ago I managed to get a further test game in for the Squats playing version 1.4 vs EUK Dark Eldar (fielded by Console Avenging Angel).

I took
Berserkers + Rhinos
Warriors + extra Warriors, Living Ancestor & Rhinos (BTS)
Thunderfire Battery (3)
Thudd Guns
Robots
Iron Eagles (4)
Iron Eagles (4)
Guild Outriders inc. Grand Warlord & 3 Trikes
Overlord
Land Train + Dragon Car & Berserker Car
Land Train + Dragon Car & Berserker Car

I faced (from memory)
Wraithgate
Kabal Coterie + extra Incubi & Raiders (BTS) (Started in Webway)
Kabal Flotilla + Extra Ravager
Kabal Syndicate + Dracon, Raiders & 2 Venons
Kabal Syndicate + Dracon, Raiders & 2 Venons
Kabal Syndicate + Raiders & 2 Venons
Kabal Syndicate + Raiders & 2 Venons
Vessel of Pain
Vessel of Pain
Razorwings
Executioner (BTS)

Simplest thing to say is that I’d had a bad day and it continued into the night. However, saying this I looked at my opponent’s army and thought I should have taken a Cyclops as it would have been perfect to line up against the Executioner and Vessels of Pain.
The first turn started slowly with the Kabals doubling up behind cover and the Executioner doubling forward to fire on my Overlord and failed to kill it. Most of the Squats pushed forward, but I made a mistake in pushing my Bikes within engage range of the Webway and preceeded to lose them and my supreme commander. The Archon’s formation mounted up and pulled back.

Most formations rallied and the Squats won strategy for turn two. I then preceed to concentrate on formations on my right flank rather than sustain at the nicely clumped BTS Archon formation in line of sight of one of my Land Trains. As I said earlier, it had not been a good day and I completely missed this. Sensibly, once he had pointed out my mistake, my opponent moved his Archon and I think engaging and wiping out another formation in the process.
The game evened out from here with both of us attacking smaller formations to reduce activations and gain control of the battlefield. I was able to push the game into a four turn and then hoping not to have a fifth continued to contest objectives at the end of it. A massive 600pt victory to the Dark Eldar was calculated showing that if you let them play the way they want to then you are going to be in trouble.

Points from the game – I tried to used the Robots as the front of my layered defence around the Blitz with the Thunderfire’s as the second layer and Thudd guns as the final. This failed in this game as the Thunderfire’s in cover could only get limited shots off due to limited line of sight. I think a single gun got to shoot in the first three turns before being wiped out in the fourth. The Thudd Guns failed to activate in turns 2 & 3 and as they were in or behind terraine failed to done anything in those turns. Again they were wiped out in turn 4. The robots did shoot more but lost an engagement in turn 3 wiping them out.
On the plus side the resilience of the Squats showed again as I was able to scrap a points loss even though I played poorly. With my head screwed on properly I think that we could have had a good even game.

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 Post subject: Re: Squats: Thurgrimm's Stronghold List, 1.4
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:43 am 
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Bill, are the Overlord's Autocannon's supposed to be range 45cm?

Can the same upgrade be taken multiple times?

Is the Berserker upgrade really 25 points?

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 Post subject: Re: Squats: Thurgrimm's Stronghold List, 1.4
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:20 am 
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Yes,
No,
Yes

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 Post subject: Re: Squats: Thurgrimm's Stronghold List, 1.4
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:01 pm 
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Thanks. On the not being able to take the same upgrade twice that needs to be noted somewhere.

The 25 point Berserker upgrade is a no brainer.

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 Post subject: Re: Squats: Thurgrimm's Stronghold List, 1.4
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:33 pm 
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I've been thinking a lot about this list - have played about eight games with it now against a variety of opponents, mostly space marines, night lords, orks, and tyranids. I'm beginning to win some of my games. Have some notions I wanted to put down here; have been finding playing this list to be really frustrating on a couple of levels. I have been playing exclusively at 3000 points.

The warrior brotherhood and the berserker squads. If there's a worse dedicated close combat unit than berserkers out there, I've yet to see it; but for 175 points, and the option to pick up two more stands for 25 points, including transportation, I can just bulk the unit out. They suffer from the slow movement speed that's typical for basic infantry and are manageable in CC and decent in FF, with a 4+ and 5+ respectively. My initial thought was that they're a throwaway unit and that's how I've been using them. I've yet to convincingly win an assault without the assistance of a good chunk of my army on supporting fire. The Hearthguard's Inspiring rule helps a bit.

This brings me down to warriors; for 300 points, even with free rhinos, I feel like I'm getting taken to the cleaners. They've got almost zero long-range shooting and if I want to bulk them out with more warriors I pay only 100 points; so somewhere in the original calculation the hearthguard itself comes out to 100 points for the basic warrior brotherhood by those numbers. If want to make the brotherhood any good at shooting - 'cause goodness knows it's not much good at FF/CC - I have thunderers, which for 150 points are excellent on sustain or advance. But then we're up to 450 points and this brings me to the crux of the issue I have with the army.

At this point we're left with only two subpar options to allow us access to any of the other options in the list and there are only three of them alllowed per brotherhood/guild! If you want anti-air, the only way to get it is via thunderfire cannons or the short-ranged Overlord, and the thunderfires are coming out of these support formations. Artillery? Speed? Throwaway defenses via tarantula or robot? All coming out of those support formations. I feel penalized in being forced to take berserkers or warriors just to get to the stuff in the army that can do anything, and the stuff in the support formations isn't exactly cheap. Thudd guns, mole mortars, thunderfires, bikers, and to an extent robots are all great; but if I want four thunderfires, two units of bikes, and one each of mole mortars and thudd guns, I'm stuck with the dead weight of berserkers and warriors; and if I want any more, I'm paying 175 points minumum just for the privilege.

But fortunately we've got oomph in the War Engines category - unfortunately the way the points play out at 3k means we've got just the 1k to spend on the overlord, goliath, colossus or cyclops. Generally I'll try for an overlord (for more AA if nothing else), a goliath battery, and a collossus. It's possible to grab six goliaths out of the 1k allowance, or three overlords and a goliath battery, or a cyclops/collossus and the overlord/goliath as mentioned above; or possibly grab a land train, though I wouldn't take a land train in its current state. The Leviathan's extremely slow and its role as a troop transport is readily satisfied by termites/moles.

I apologize for the complaining and recognize I'm relatively new getting back into Epic. But looking over a lot of the other lists, I don't see this one as particularly balanced either against the local meta (of which I know everyone wishes we had more of!) or even within itself. What few people post Squat lists online have them look fundamentally similar (lots of overlords, which I feel is probably the best use of points inside the War Engines category now) but even if we wanted to play some kind of radically different Squat army the option isn't there, hampered by two supbar Brotherhood formations as we are.

Thoughts to improve/for playtest include the following:

Put biker guilds into Brotherhoods/Guilds - they were like this in Space Marine, are reasonably costed as is, and offer a different take on a Squat list.

Get some AA into the warrior brotherhoods somehow, or drop their points.

Get some flyers into the list - gyrocopters would fulfill that role perfectly. I know Squats are "supposed to be slow" but right now I'd only grab gyros to spot for my colossus and at 225 minimum they break easy and offer little in the way of firepower.

Figure out the Land Train alongside the Colossus and Cyclops. If the idea is that we pay a premium for a "swiss army engine" that puts out fewer BP, is worse in CC/FF, or fulfills an uninspiring close fire support role, then every time I'm going to go with something that's actually suited for any of the above rather than pay extra for adding what cars I like. Putting out BP with a doomsday cannon/mortar? Colossus does it better and cheaper. Providing firefight support? The train's so slow that it'd be hard to get it there to do that, and if it's going to do it well then that's all it's going to do. Close fire support? Thudd guns/mole mortars do it better, for less, and without delving into the war engine slot.

Anyhow, my two long, rambling cents. Maybe I'm not seeing this properly - but tell me how this lists has something that Guard, Marines, Nids, or Orks don't have. I'm just not seeing it.
-Adam


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 Post subject: Re: Squats: Thurgrimm's Stronghold List, 1.4
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:50 pm 
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I think giving the Berserkers Scout and/or Infiltrator would give them a little more utility.

On the Warriors cost, I think the closest thing to compare them to is an IG company. 250 points gets you a unit that takes 13 hits to wipe out and 7 shots. For 300 points your getting a unit that takes roughly 13 hits to wipe out, 5-6 shots, better CC, 5 transports (somewhere between 25-50 points), and rallies on a 1+. Given that comparison I think 300 points is pretty fair.

I definitely agree that another core choice would be nice, but I think a stand along Thunderer formation would be more thematic than the bikes.

With 3 core formations I think you could go down to 2 support formations per core and still have a workable list. Right now at the 1:3 nothing really feels "core".

I definitely agree with Adam on the Land Train, the "choose your own adventure" thing that it's got going on right now isn't easy to balance.

The WE's were scary until I looked at the CC stat. Then my Terminators played hacky sack with a Cyclops.

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Last edited by Dave on Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Squats: Thurgrimm's Stronghold List, 1.4
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:02 pm 
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Dave wrote:
The 25 point Berserker upgrade is a no brainer.

Only if you have the points to spare

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 Post subject: Re: Squats: Thurgrimm's Stronghold List, 1.4
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:04 pm 
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Thanks for posting your thoughts Doomscape.

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 Post subject: Re: Squats: Thurgrimm's Stronghold List, 1.4
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:05 pm 
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I don't know that just adding thunderers as a stand-alone unit would really satisfy the problem though - given the firepower that unit puts out I can't see taking anything else, even if they are vulnerable to counterfire there'd be a few formations of them at least. And it wouldn't offer anything particularly new tactically beyond what we're used to - sit back, shoot, then pray bikes are alive (or termites/moles) to take the blitz.

Still wouldn't drop the support choices to 2 - if the stuff that's "good" in an army gets to be that limited then that's an issue - there has to be a reason to want to take the core formations. If the great thing about warriors is that they're hard to shift, it'd hard to get a player excited that he's basically purchased a punching bag that can't seriously hit back (and anything's better than guardsmen in CC, Dave :P).

As far as theme goes I pulled out the core cards from Ork and Squat Warlords last night, and barring the goliath/mole mortar/thudd gun formation card (which is a bit ridiculous), guild biker formations were a common thing. Don't know how balanced they'd be; though it does open up some room in the Support formations category.

I was surprised at the 5+ CC stat on the cyclops/colossus. I'm curious as to what prompted that choice.

Will keep playing games!


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 Post subject: Re: Squats: Thurgrimm's Stronghold List, 1.4
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:12 pm 
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doomscape wrote:
If the great thing about warriors is that they're hard to shift, it'd hard to get a player excited that he's basically purchased a punching bag that can't seriously hit back (and anything's better than guardsmen in CC, Dave :P).


I don't know if you have to be excited to take it, but you definitely need punching bags. It's why I take Tacticals. With infantry companies you're going to be hard pressed to hold objectives with guard, warriors are fulfilling the same roll. Garrison them and let them soak up fire so the bikes don't. Don't garrison and keep them mobile with the transport so they can get someone and deny an avenue of attack.

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 Post subject: Re: Squats: Thurgrimm's Stronghold List, 1.4
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:17 pm 
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David clearly I need to be excited about everything! I'll just go home and paint gargants tonight I suppose, weep into my beer...


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