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Scions of Iron - play test version 2.0

 Post subject: Scions of Iron - play test version 2.0
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:31 pm 
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Hi everyone, and thanks for trusting me with the Scions of Iron!

OK, after some initial discussions it's back to the drawing board. I have tried to accomplish similar results as in my original proposal but with a lot less changes, and also less downplay of the pure tank formations. Some of the less popular changes are still in there, like smaller Predator formations, but I think they are necessary for list balance.

High level changes:

    * Split formations into core/support
    * Terminators deploy in Crusaders
    * All air crafts moved to 1/3 section
    * Predator formations cannot add extra Predators
    * 25 points price reduction on Tactical and Heavy Tactical formations

You can download the Scions of Iron 2.1 draft from my dropbox:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/93jidm9fgipcxx1/Scions_of_Iron_2.1.html?dl=1

Let the discussions continue...

All the stuff below is history ;)


Over the last weeks I have played a lot of games with the Scions of Iron online and I also brought them to a local tournament. After giving it a lot of thought and discussing back and forth with my regular Epic opponents I now have a first draft of how I would like to see Scions of Iron 2.0. I have also read up on the backstory and tried to stay true to the original idea for the chapter.

I want to focus the Scions of Iron even more to be a combined arms mechanized infantry force to further distinguish them from other chapters. I want the core units to have flexibility to do more than one thing and to it reasonably well. I want to move them away slightly from having large tank formations, and instead incorporate those tanks into mechanized infantry formations. To achieve this there are several areas where I want to make changes. I have tried to limit the changes to army structure, formation composition, upgrade options, etc. instead of bringing in new units. As this is an approved army, going in to this task I didn't want to make too many changes at once... but I have failed that goal already from the first draft ;) I realize these changes might require a full round of play-testing, but I'm hoping it will be worth the effort.

Another goal has been to find good use for the more uncommon Space Marine units (Destructors, Vindicators, and to some extent Land Raiders and Razorbacks) and make them fit in the army. Hopefully some dusty models can get to see some action in the Scions of Iron list in the future.

A major weakness I see with the list, which is also important to keep in mind when reading the army list, is low activation count. Most formations are more expensive than their Codex Astartes counterparts. Also a lot of the inexpensive Marine formations are not available in the Scions of Iron list. Some of the upgrade options might seem very powerful in theory, and if they can be exploited in some way that would of course need to be fixed. But please prove your point by e.g. designing an army taking advantage of this exploit and explain why your army is overpowered (or even better, try it in a game and make a battle report), instead of having a theoretical discussion only focused on the cost of a specific upgrade option.

You can download the Scions of Iron 2.0 draft from my dropbox:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/t2qrmfaflrcc9i1/Scions_of_Iron_2.0.html?dl=1

Happy for all the feedback I can get, even better if it comes from a battle-report!

Significant changes in 2.0

I have split the detachments into core and support with two support per core choice. Land Raiders and Predators have lost their upgrades to add extra tanks, to focus on combined arms formations instead of large armor formations. All air transports have been moved to the 1/3 restricted section since I don't want the army to be pure air assault. Here they will also compete with the popular Warhounds and Thunderbolts to really make air transports a choice you have to consider carefully. Below is a summary of changes to formations and units compared to the approved list:

Alignment with other Space Marine lists

    * Add the "two Vindicators for 75 points" option
    * Change the points for Land Raider upgrades to one for 75, two for 125 (incorporated in formation/upgrade prices)
    * Add AA5+ to Thunderhawk SB 2× Twin Heavy Bolter to align Thunderhawk stats, same fix needed for Imperial Fists

Structure

    * Thunderhawk Transporters to 1/3 section
    * Landingcraft to 1/3 section
    * Introduce Core and Support choices (2 support per core)
    - Core: Tacticals & Terminators
    - Support: Bikes, Heavy Scouts, Land Raiders, Predators, Scouts, Strike Cruiser & Whirlwinds

Unit changes

    * Add weapon option to Land Raider Helios (Whirlwind or Hyperios Launcher)
    * Thunderhawk Transporters, changed weapons loadout to reduce defensive flack
    * Thunderhawk SB, added AA to FxF Heavy Bolters
    * Added Techmarine character (same stats as Imperial Fist)

Formation changes

    * Bikes
    - Add two Predator Destructors to the formation at slight discount, cost to 250 points
    - Removed Land Speeder option
    - Removed Attack Bike option

    * Heavy Tacticals
    - Merged with tacticals (removed)

    * Helios
    - Formation removed, moved to Land Raider upgrade

    * Heavy Scouts
    - New formation based on the Codex Astartes Scout formation
    - Comes with two Vindicators and two Rhinos with equipped with dozer blades (-5cm move, walker)
    - Option to buy extra Vindicators (at which point they can no longer garrison)

    * Land Raiders
    - Removed option to by extra Land Raiders
    - Helios upgrade
    - Put back option to add Vindicators (as in the Codex Astartes list)

    * Landing Craft
    - Moved to Scions of Iron Aircraft Formations section

    * Predators
    - Removed Destructor option, Destructors only available as infantry support
    - Remove option to buy extra Predators

    * Scouts
    - Deploys in Razorbacks at a slight discount (225 points)
    - Removed Land Speeders and Snipers upgrades

    * Tacticals
    - Removed Vindicators from the choice of Armour
    - Formation can upgrade its transports (several Razorback and Land Raider options)
    - Removed option to add extra Predators (Vindicators still available)
    - Added 0-1 Techmarine character option per army

    * Terminators
    - Removed teleport option
    - Deployed in Land Raider Crusaders
    - Price compensation for the loss of flexibility

    * Thunderhawk Transporters
    - Moved to Scions of Iron Aircraft Formations section
    - Can only add one extra Transporter

    * Vindicator
    - Removed formation, only available as infantry support and upgrade

Upgrade changes

    * Armour - Renamed to Vindicators, and removed option to add Predators
    * Commander - Put back standard Space Marine Supreme Commander character, added option to give one Land Raider Prometheus Commander or Supreme Commander
    * Land Raiders - Removed
    * Land Speeders - Removed
    * Razorbacks - Removed
    * Snipers - Removed
    * Thunderhawk Transporters - Restricted to one extra

    * Helios - Added as an upgrade to Land Raider formations, 25 points per Helios
    * Hunter - Renamed to Air-defence and an option to add an AA Land Raider Helios was added
    * Techmarine - New character option for Tactical formations
    * Terminators - New option to increase the size of the Terminator formation
    * Transports - New transport options for Tactical formations

And possibly a few more I forgot to mention...

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Last edited by Argol on Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Scions of Iron - play test version 2.0
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:49 pm 
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Hey,

Looking to build a scions list so this is great that its getting some more attention.

Just my 2 cents to do with as you see fit. Scions of Iron from what I understand are devoted to Omnissiah and hold the Adeptus Mechanicus in high regard. Makes sense for the list to be more armour focused rather than a mechanized infantry approach. I'm not saying ditch the infantry entirely but maybe don't make them a requirement. Would love to see a marine list that included some Adeptus knights, fits with the lore and it would really set the scions apart. Not sure you need to have two different scout formations. I think this list could really benefit from a landspeeder formation rather than two different scout formations for a low cost formation. Landraiders are currently very under utilized in most other marine lists mainly because of their points. Another avenue to differentiate could be to see a point reduction in landraiders and incorporate more of the landraider variants into the main list structure. I really liked the previous heavy tactical formations. In selecting the scions list to build a marine army for I was most interested in making it centered around landraiders. I do like the AA landraider varient.

A few questions:

Techmarine seems like it could be an interesting addition but why give it a 0-1 restriction?
Why take the landraiders away from the tactical formations entirely?
Why move the transporters and Landing Craft to the 1/3 section?

Just one thing to address:

Land raider crusaders only hold 1.5 terminators each. Can have 4 terminators with two crusaders but.... I don't think that is what you were going for. Maybe you could include the landraider spartan for this purpose.

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 Post subject: Re: Scions of Iron - play test version 2.0
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:04 am 
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Looks good! Will be interesting to playtest against this again.

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 Post subject: Re: Scions of Iron - play test version 2.0
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:33 pm 
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FYI the Techmarine character already exists in NetEA. You should come into alignment with the approved version.

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 Post subject: Re: Scions of Iron - play test version 2.0
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:45 pm 
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It was my intention to align with the IF version. I missed the fact that it doesn't have invulnerable save, I took that for granted on all SM characters. First thing to fix added...

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 Post subject: Re: Scions of Iron - play test version 2.0
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:46 pm 
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@atension

Thanks for your feedback, hopefully we can get a discussion going and involve more people. Here are my thoughts:

Army focus, armour or mechanized infantry?

My vision was to build the Scions of Iron as a mechanized infantry list with a lot of armour support. I believe jimmyzimms is looking to build the Apocrypha of Skaros more focused on pure armour. With my suggested changes to the SoI can still play with a lot of armour, but you must bring some core mechanized infantry formations along as well. But it is a clear shift in focus towards mechanized infantry…

Knights?

This is a cool option but maybe a bit radical for an approved list? Also in the backstory the relation between the SoI and Adeptus Mechanicus is not the best…

Scouts vs. Land Speeders?

Yes the list would benefit from Land Speeders, they are a great formation! But the SoI never had access to stand alone Land Speeders and I believe it fits the army theme to use mechanized infantry for Scout duties. It is also intentional that most of the low cost options are removed from the list. I believe and hope that the two Scout formations will behave differently enough to have both in the list.

Heavy Tacticals and Land Raiders?

The Land Raiders are not removed, they are an upgrade option. But yes, you can no longer take the old Heavy Tactical formation. You can however get the old Heavy Tactical formation plus two Predators for 400 points (compared to 325). The reason why I removed the Heavy Tacticals was that they didn’t feel very heavy when used on the field. And with upgrades (adding more Land Raiders) there were a lot of empty transport spaces, which to me feels a bit wrong. Six units felt weak, even when the two tanks had reinforced armor. I have incorporated the suggested points reduction for Land Raider upgrades (two for 125 points) for both Tactical and Terminator formations.

I think I understand what you wanted to do with your SoI list, lots of Heavy Tactical formations and maybe even some Land Raiders in support to overload an opponent with RA armour? Give it a try with the Tactical formation. You will get one or two formations less, but in return each formation will pack more punch and be less vulnerable to a single lucky AT hit.

But I want the list to be appealing to as many players as possible. If you don’t like the upgraded Tacticals I will consider making the old configuration possible again. I don’t see any issue with it other than that in the current list Tacticals and Heavy Tacticals fills the exact same role and the Heavy ones feels like the more fragile formation.

Techmarines

I wanted to add Techmarines to the list as this is something that fits the chapter background. The 0-1 restriction is simply because I think the Techmarine is a very powerful upgrade. In the imperial Fist list they are only available to a very limited number of formations, and not in the formations where they would be most useful. Space Marine formations with Leader are annoying to play against. Combined with TSKNF it makes the formation almost impossible to break. Unless they have 6+ blastmarkers at the end of the turn they will be BM free after a successful rally phase…

Air Transports

I don’t want the entire army to be airborne. The current list can do some crazy stuff, e.g. deploying the entire army anywhere on the board by putting everything in Transporters/Landing Crafts and do a massive planetfall at the start of turn one. If a Codex Astartes list deploys from space they lose mobility, SoI doesn’t (but they will have to spend a lot of points on air transports). The fact that air transports are competing with Warhounds is also a balancing factor for the cost decrease to the Tacticals and Scout formations. You can’t do both a massive air insertion and have a couple of Warhounds running around…

Crusaders

I believe you are wrong on the transport capacity of the Land Raider Crusader. The Crusader can transport three infantry units, terminators counting as 1.5 units each. Two Terminator x 1.5 = 3, so one Crusaders can carry two Terminators.

Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Scions of Iron - play test version 2.0
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:52 pm 
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Ohh my mistake on the terminators I always read it as each crusader can carry 1.5 terminators. So you would need three crusaders to carry 4 stands. But yeah that doesnt really make sense.

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 Post subject: Re: Scions of Iron - play test version 2.0
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:58 am 
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Oh now remember, I was thinking of the steel confessors. Off shoot of the iron hands legion (possibly created by the Adeptus from the gene seed of the iron hands). They are the legion thats tight with Mars.

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 Post subject: Re: Scions of Iron - play test version 2.0
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:53 pm 
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Let's not forget that the SoI fluff they're another IH offshoot IIRC. IH shtick being a Mech Inf Shock force after all it fits thematically here. This list gives a fun variation of ground pounders that I dig.

Yes I'm hoping to make AoS a crazy armoured focused list with a few infantry bits stuck in as support. Predators galore! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Scions of Iron - play test version 2.0
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:07 am 
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I'm a long term player and almost exclusively use the Scions of Iron list when playing Space Marines, so I'm really happy some love is being shown towards it. But.....

...it's always been an armour list. I'd hate to see it become a mechanised infantry, or combined arms, or whatever else.

The Scions of Iron was the winner of the 2007 Epic Army list competition run by fanatic magazine. The list designer (Chroma maybe?) quite clearly talks about the theme of the army he designed in an article in fanatic #95 under 'designer's notes' -

Quote:
The basis of Scions of Iron is Marine Armour. List is designed to allow full advantage of the armoured vehicles while cutting down on the options for infantry and light vehicle formations.


The good chaps (and chappette's?) over at specialist arms have saved some of specialist games history and the article - written by the list's designer - is here http://www.specialist-arms.com/fanatic/95aasoi.pdf.

I think adding techmarines, changing some of the options and points and generally modernising it to 2018-standard is great.

Please don't change the list's theme. We've had it for ten years now and it crops up quite often here. It's a good, fun list that emphasises Space Marine armour. If you aren't interested in playing formations of six Land Raiders or Predators - this isn't the list you're looking for.

Please mess with some other list, or create a new one. Scions of Iron is not a perfect armour list, but it does the job. I'm happy to see it tinkered with and will even contribute - but you're talking about completely changing the theme of it. It's approved and has been for years. Please leave it so.

I'm actually using it in a tournament here in Australia this weekend (Briscon - Advance to Contact). I'm happy to give some feedback and what my opponents thought. But I play it as an armoured heavy list - the way it was designed to be played. In fact, there was going to be TWO Scions of Iron armies at this tournament... but a change of heart at the last minute changed a colleague's army selection.

Regards

Harry


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 Post subject: Re: Scions of Iron - play test version 2.0
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:55 pm 
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Hena was the list designer.

I'll echo the thoughts above. The scale of changes you're looking to introduce is putting this in the Ship of Theseus territory. The list is approved, changes should be limited to those done for the sake of balance. Removing units or formations is going to completely invalidate people's collections and armies. Start a new list if that's what you want to do.

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 Post subject: Re: Scions of Iron - play test version 2.0
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:38 pm 
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I've think I agree with Dave and Gunslinger. I think that it is better to make it a new list if wanted one with mech focus and retain the heavy armour focus on this one. Also the proposed changes feels like it will make the list more like other SM lists and less unique. Not saying that some changes are good like moving of air support and looking over land raider cost

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 Post subject: Re: Scions of Iron - play test version 2.0
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:24 pm 
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Hi everyone,

Great to see people taking an interest in the Scions of Iron. We obviously view the army in different light, and I would like to understand the root of your concerns. So I hear a few things here.

1. It is way too much changes to an approved army
2. You are changing the focus of the army
3. You took away my favorite formation
4. You invalidated peoples model collection

The approved status

So this is something we need to agree on before the rest of the discussions continue. In my mind Scions of Iron is an army that is rarely used (based on battle reports, discussions, etc. on Taccom) and would require more than a few minor points adjustments to appeal to a wider audience. If this is not an option (no matter if you like or dislike the changes) for a list with approved status I quite frankly don’t see the point of having an army champion assigned for approved lists, since making some minor points adjustments could easily be handled by the Marine AC.

Army focus (given that changes are still on the table)

I tried to give the army a clear focus, to me the current list is a bit all over the place. I tried to make room for a true Armour focused Space Marine list, since to me the Scions of Iron has always been about the Tacticals/Heavy Tacticals formations with the mix of armour and infantry. Obviously a lot of you feel differently, and after all the Apocrypha of Skaros is probably not going to be approved for quite some time.

I would like to understand what changes upset you the most? I have removed the Predator upgrade both from the Predator formation and from the Tactical formation. Given the comment above I guess it’s the upgrade to the Predator formation, and same goes for the Land Raider formation, that is the issue here? Another major change to the list, that I realize could upset people, is the more expensive Scout formations that changes the activation count slightly and might be an issue if you invested a lot in expensive armour formations and still want to keep a good activation count. The core/support split, is that also something that would cause issues?

Saying “I’d hate to see it become a mechanized infantry, or a combined arms, or whatever else” and “If you aren't interested in playing formations of six Land Raiders or Predators - this isn't the list you're looking for” is a bit harsh. The mechanized infantry focus has always been in the list, and is also very pronounced in the backstory. To me the interesting aspect of the SoI is the mechanized infantry, combined arms. So this is the direction I wanted to go with the army, also knowing that an armour focused SM list is on the horizon.

But I’m not looking to scare people away, and I’m certainly not going to push for approval on changes that doesn’t have support in the community. Especially big changes that will require a lot of play testing. Let’s work together to see if we can incorporate both the armour aspect and the mechanized infantry aspect into the list while still giving it a facelift.

Removed formations and units

I think most players using Space Marines play them as more than one chapter. I have removed only a very limited number of units from the list, Land Speeders and Attack Bikes. Those units are used in almost every other marine chapter, and had only a peripheral role in the Scions of Iron list. When it comes to formations I am listening to your feedback…

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 Post subject: Re: Scions of Iron - play test version 2.0
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:50 pm 
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Putting the the present and the proposed lists side by side, the main difference I can see between the lists is that the proposed list lacks a dirt-cheap formation (like the bikes (175 for 4 units) or scouts(150 for 6 units)) which gives activations, which in turn allows the player to take big armoured formations.

IMO, these small formations don't really fit into the theme, but they do allow for taking big formations of armoured vehicles, which might be what most current players like about the list.

The proposed list requires a very different playstyle, which might be too much for a list that's already approved. A compromise might be to allow upgrades to units that give the mechanized formations, but that basic core of the formation is the old one.

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 Post subject: Re: Scions of Iron - play test version 2.0
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:06 pm 
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I'd really like to try a Land Raider heavy Marine List. Since Land Raiders have transport capacity then that fits the Mechanised Infantry theme. Don't mind other lighter armour being added to the formations but would rather not have to take them on core Mech Inf formations. So I rather liked the Heavy Mech Inf formation but can see why you wanted to avoid two different Tactical formations. Could you make it more of a mix and match formation within the Core Section? 4 Tactical Marines, and then select one of transport/support

Seeing an even more full range of Land Raider variants available would also be fun. Since Land Raiders are often under represented in most lists perhaps some more slight discounts (in addition to +125 pts for TWO) might be encouraging.

Mech Infantry ==> some Land Raider LOVE?


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