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For Elysia! The Elysian Drop Troop Regiment v3.x

 Post subject: Re: For Elysia! The Elysian Drop Troop Regiment v3.x
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:57 pm 
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Looking at the list and played the older version a few times i think that it works best like a modern army wirh aircraft softening defences, and troops holding ground. Imo the dun way ro play it was that way maxing on aircraft and sitting tight with infantry deployment. The way to make it more threatening would be to increase the reliance on air and make them deadlier... but thats foing to upset the meta.


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 Post subject: Re: For Elysia! The Elysian Drop Troop Regiment v3.x
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:40 am 
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I have to apologize, I'm not sure what exactly you're saying. Are you suggesting that the way to make the Elysians more tenable would be to greatly increase their air power? (with an admission that it would be unbalanced regarding other current armies)


It looks like I might well have another opportunity to playtest tomorrow or the day after, if we can get together some ideas that would be worth trying out. I tend to prefer throwing science at the wall and seeing what sticks, so I'd be more than enthusiastic about trying some extreme changes that might bear fruit.


Current changes I'm looking at running with:
Strategy Rating 3 (So long as the commander's alive?)
"Iron Discipline" replaced with the Cadian "Elite" rule: +1 to Rally tests
Allow one CAP and one Overwatch, additional Garrison as desired. (ala the Vanaheim list)
Lightning Interceptors at 2 for 150, can add an additional 2 for 100 points, and can swap any of them for Strike fighters for +25 points.
All "Teleport" formations are replaced with "Planetfall" (The "spacecraft" is 150 points and comes with a single PinPoint attack: 4xAT4+ )
All Armored Vehicle Skimmers (Valkyries, Vendettas, Vultures) gain "Planetfall" (self planetfall? that seems too powerful)
Venators lose Scout, whereas the regular Tauros retains it
Tauros Support Company replaced with "200 Points: 6 Tauros or Multilaser Venators. May replace up to 2 with Lascannon Venators for +25 points each"
Mortar Core Company removed, and replaced with "250 points: Mortar Support Company: 6 Mortar Teams. May add 3 Support Sentinels for +100 points."
Code:
Support Sentinel:
Type               Speed      Armour       Close Combat       Firefight
Light Vehicle   20cm        6+              6+                        6+

Weapon                        Range        Firepower
Support Missile             30cm           1BP, Indirect Fire


"Valkyrie Sky Talons" are removed as upgrade options, and replaced with:
Code:
Flight of 4 for 200 points.  May add additional aircraft for +25 points each.  Count as combined WE for transport
Type        Speed                      Armour       Close Combat       Firefight
Aircraft     Fighter-Bomber        5+              6+                        5+

Weapon                        Range        Firepower
Heavy Bolter                 30cm          AP5+
Underwing Rockets       30cm          AT4+

Notes: May Transport two Infantry, or 1 Light Vehicle, per unit in the formation


Drop Troop company is replaced with:
225 points: Drop Troop Company 1 Commander, 5 Drop Troops, 2 Mortars.

Upgrade: Infantry Platoon is 6 units, and costs 100 points
Upgrade: Fire Support Platoon is 4 units, and costs 100 points
Upgrade: Mortar Platoon is 4 units, and costs 75 points
Upgrade: 2 Vultures for 150 points (Punishers for 175)

Add a 50 point upgrade for 2 Tarantulas:
Code:
Tarantula Sentry Battery
Type               Speed      Armour       Close Combat       Firefight
Light Vehicle   0cm          6+              -                           5+

Weapon                                     Range        Firepower
Tarantula Heavy Bolters             30cm           AP4+/AA6+

Notes:Planetfall



Here's my shot in the dark. Please tell me what you think I should try out, and what I should remove for now. Honda, not saying these are all good changes, just that they're things that I'd like to try out so I can say "yeah, that really did suck." I'm also aware that there's a fair number of special rules floating around in the above, but it's worth seeing which ones are even suitable for consideration, and which are entirely unnecessary.


Last edited by Signal on Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: For Elysia! The Elysian Drop Troop Regiment v3.x
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:03 am 
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And my proposed list for Friday (to show you guys what I'm looking at testing) is:

(List removed, until I can get some feedback on units)


Last edited by Signal on Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: For Elysia! The Elysian Drop Troop Regiment v3.x
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:50 am 
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Signal, in my (limited) experience, the Elysians work better the more formations that they can keep off-table to avoid precisely the result you had in your last game. The point being that you have to find ways of retaining their significant potential for close assault while they are getting onto position.

To that end, I would also suggest that your table seems a little light on terrain - the Elysian on-table formations should be starting off in / behind terrain, and move using terrain to gain as much defensive capability as possible against the kind of pre-emptive strike that you suffered.


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 Post subject: Re: For Elysia! The Elysian Drop Troop Regiment v3.x
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:35 pm 
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Ginger wrote:
Signal, in my (limited) experience, the Elysians work better the more formations that they can keep off-table to avoid precisely the result you had in your last game. The point being that you have to find ways of retaining their significant potential for close assault while they are getting onto position.

To that end, I would also suggest that your table seems a little light on terrain - the Elysian on-table formations should be starting off in / behind terrain, and move using terrain to gain as much defensive capability as possible against the kind of pre-emptive strike that you suffered.


You're definitely right that keeping things off-table is helpful to avoid early strikes. I'd set up the mortars in advance so they could actually be able to use their weapons in the first turn (otherwise they'd have had to march for 45cm and hope that was enough for turn 2) There was also an attempt (not a great one, I'll admit) to set up a forward garrison, as that's apparently the reason why Vanaheim CAP hasn't bee allowed.

We actually played using a fair amount less terrain than usual, in order to keep things visually simpler for the battle report. :P Our next battle we'll revert to more what we usually use, but terrain actually wouldn't have affected any of the opening moves, except for possibly the Warhound shooting at the Venators. Teleporting Terminators, Thunderbolts, and Air-Assault Thunderhawks don't particularly care if there's a few extra buildings somewhere :p

What I have a difficult time with is your statement about "retaining their potential for close assault while they are getting onto position." There's two premises in that statement:
1) Elysians have a significant potential for close assault
2) Elysians can get into position

Imperial Guard, in general, are a shooting force. Not to say that engage-oriented formations are impossible, but for them to actually seize victory in an engagement, the attacker needs one of a few things: large numbers, (Krieg go this route, almost always outnumbering 2x) decent armor, (Cadians take this route with their Kasrkin, or Stormtroopers in general) or potent attacks (Rough Riders, with their 4+ and EA First strike fit here.) Some units combine elements, usually at the expense of the third. (Ogryn armor and power, but limited to two as an upgrade) Elysian assaults typically gain no bonus for outnumbering, have no save against enemy attacks, and don't cause enough damage themselves. Other than including a Commissar, there isn't a whole lot you can do to alter their odds for an assault.

This is greatly exacerbated by their limited speed. If I hold them back for teleporting, they can arrive where I want them. However, there is a good chance I will gain at least 1 blast marker doing so, and it is likely my opponent will go first. He has two options, and with retain he has the ability to exercise both of them. He can fire into the newly-arrived troops (likely sustaining, and severely damaging the no-save infantry) and he can simply move away. At most, all anyone has to do is move their units 26cm further away from the teleporting formation, and there is absolutely nothing they can do about it. When you consider most infantry have transports and a range of 45cm, it means they can basically kite the Elysians at will. The only way to overcome the ability to evade is to drop so many units that you encircle the opponent. This is a problem because a) it's boring (teleport just means "hey, I set up around you.") and b) it requires a significant investment of forces that will not be recovered. (Two bare-bones Drop Companies are 450 points, a sixth of your entire force. Once this engagement is over, the forces will be unable to provide any meaningful contribution to the battle plan.)


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 Post subject: Re: For Elysia! The Elysian Drop Troop Regiment v3.x
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:55 pm 
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Weeell, When I played them, you had to upgrade Drop troop companies with sentinels etc to get MW FF - which automatically forces them to Teleport (because the upgrades do not get transport options). So, you get forced into a somewhat linear style of play splitting the army into separate parts, one of which teleports into position (preferaby into ruined buildings etc to gain armour saves), while the rest of the army deploys in Vultures, Valkyries Skytalons etc ready to provide the distant support and mobile reserves.

However, the low SR means that you are always likely to be reactive - so
  1. You have to swamp the opponent with multiple threats, so that he cannot deal with all of them. This in turn requires a semi-pop corn approach to the army, and also it needs boldness and redundancy in your strategies:- you really have to teleport a lot of stuff for it to be effective, (minimum of 4+ companies into mutual supporting positions on a flank etc, or 1/3 your army)
  2. Use scouts and other companies to pin the opponent into his deployment zone. This will reduce the areas he can evade to, while (hopefully) also restricting the number of formations he can bring to bear.
  3. The table-top "reserves" need to be carefully positioned to minimise the impact of any pre-emptive strike. So carefull use of scout screens, infantry deployed in cover, etc and probably in a single 'castle'.
  4. You have to face the fact that the list effectively has no AA - or at least you must trade off AA and AT capabilities (which amounts to the same thing) and play accordingly

Unfortunately this results in a somewhat repetetive strategy, and one that requires experience to play well. In essence they are a form of "poor man's marines" without much of the punch of the marine air-borne assault, while exagerating the weaknesses of the strategy (lack of armour, lack of mobility for advanced forces etc). If anything embodies "Arnheim" it is the Elysians, who drop significant numbers of light forces on strategic objectives, and hope that the remainder of the army can advance across the table to their support.

There seems to be a very fine balance between formation numbers, upgrades and air-power, that requires more thought than most lists. In your case I think I would reduce the air to 1x Lightnings (300) and 1-2 Lightning strikes, 0-1 Mauraders of some form (these provide the necessary AT capability missing elsewhere) in order to get more grunts and upgrades.

Finally on the list, I would question why Storm troopers have the transport included as this stops them from teleporting and seems at odds with the rest of the list. Also these acan form the "commandos" of the list - acting as the spearhead of the attack and supporting associated assaults by other nearby formations, and probably work better in the teleporting role rather than the "Ride of the Valkyries"

Hope that answers the
  • "assault potential" - through shere numbers focused on a particular point,
  • and the "getting into position" - teleport in numbers, followed up by mobile reserves to support multiple threats.


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 Post subject: Re: For Elysia! The Elysian Drop Troop Regiment v3.x
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:11 pm 
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I can see what you're getting at, but I'm going to try and address each issue with my specific concerns (thanks for carrying on the discussion, btw :P )

Quote:
1. You have to swamp the opponent with multiple threats, so that he cannot deal with all of them. This in turn requires a semi-pop corn approach to the army, and also it needs boldness and redundancy in your strategies:- you really have to teleport a lot of stuff for it to be effective, (minimum of 4+ companies into mutual supporting positions on a flank etc, or 1/3 your army)

This definitely can work, but requires a significant amount of concentrated force. 4 companies and a single Sentinel upgrade is a thousand points, however. And packing them together so they can support each other makes them potentially frightening to a unit next to them. On the other hand, that's a third of your army in a roughly 30cm area (mutually supporting) that have a maximum threat zone of 30cm from there. That concentration is strategically crippling, since your opponent will likely be able to just move out of your range and leave you on foot. Having the large number of companies does mean that it's unlikely he'll be able to "deal with them" via breaking or destroying them all, but he can easily "Deal with them" by rendering them completely ineffective; conceding the section to them, and outmaneuvering them elsewhere.

Quote:
2. Use scouts and other companies to pin the opponent into his deployment zone. This will reduce the areas he can evade to, while (hopefully) also restricting the number of formations he can bring to bear.

This is definitely the way to limit the enemies mobility. (pinning into deployment zone might be a bit overly optimistic) Here the difficulty is the fragility of the available scout formations. Tauros formations (since I doubt you're using Vultures for this kind of work :P ) are a mere 4 Light Vehicles, with 6+ armor. All it takes it two hits to break the formation, which forces them to flee and cripples their screening ability. A single flight of Thunderbolts (same point cost as the Venators, and able to reach them anywhere thanks to the lack of AA) will on average rolls kill about 3 of them in a single strafing run. If they have any hope of penning up the enemy for your next-turn teleport, they will have to activate at the very end of the turn or else they will likely be eliminated.

Quote:
3. The table-top "reserves" need to be carefully positioned to minimise the impact of any pre-emptive strike. So carefull use of scout screens, infantry deployed in cover, etc and probably in a single 'castle'.

By reserves, you mean Tauros and the Skimmers, right? This makes a fair amount of sense, but all it takes is a single vehicle lost from a transport squad to effectively cripple them. Even assuming only a single Valkyrie is dead, the squad now has to either a) walk on foot, meaning that they're clustered together with everything else, and have no armor and only a couple plasma shots at 15cm, or b) sacrifice the non-transportable infantry , which makes them halfway to broken. A single additional casualty on them this turn will break them.

Quote:
You have to face the fact that the list effectively has no AA - or at least you must trade off AA and AT capabilities (which amounts to the same thing) and play accordingly

Why? For an air-mobile, grav-chuting light infantry list to even be deployed, there has to be a fair expectation of air superiority. The Elysians rely on their aircraft to substitute for a number of things missing from their inventory (Artillery, Tank busting) and having to force your assets into interdicting enemy strikes means you have to do without those capabilities completely. (And since the enemy will almost always have AA of their own, your interceptors are constantly being attrited by flak, leaving them less likely to hurt their targets, or even be able to activate)

Quote:
Unfortunately this results in a somewhat repetitive strategy, and one that requires experience to play well. In essence they are a form of "poor man's marines" without much of the punch of the marine air-borne assault, while exaggerating the weaknesses of the strategy (lack of armour, lack of mobility for advanced forces etc).

Being locked in to a repetitive strategy (to me) indicates that something is flawed. There should be definite strengths and weaknesses, of course. Being limited to only one possible strategy is bad enough, but the fact that (as you said) they aren't very good at it makes it worse. Elysians shouldn't necessarily be "better" than the Marines at this sort of insertion, but since this is a points-based wargame they should at least be comparable.

Quote:
If anything embodies "Arnhem" it is the Elysians, who drop significant numbers of light forces on strategic objectives, and hope that the remainder of the army can advance across the table to their support.

This is a good point, but you're missing a few of the key points that made the Arnhem drop at least not a terrible idea. The 1st Airborne Divison had a full regiment of glider-borne 75mm howitzers that they brought with them, not to mention 6-pounder anti-tank guns, transport jeeps, significant numbers of mortars and machineguns, and light anti-tank weapons throughout the squads. I'm not saying the Elysians should have all of that equipment (nor did the 1st Division have Valkyries) but heavier weaponry was prevalent all throughout the Division, and without it they would have suffered an almost immediate defeat.

Quote:
There seems to be a very fine balance between formation numbers, upgrades and air-power, that requires more thought than most lists. In your case I think I would reduce the air to 1x Lightnings (300) and 1-2 Lightning strikes, 0-1 Mauraders of some form (these provide the necessary AT capability missing elsewhere) in order to get more grunts and upgrades.

That is almost certainly a better composition. Still suffering from the lack of anti-air, though.

Concluding:
Quote:
"assault potential" - through sheer numbers focused on a particular point,

So using multiple formations dropped all together, and then using a Captain to conduct a combined assault? (or relying on not dying->supporting fire) That doesn't really answer my question: Are they supposed to win through being cheap and numerous (they're too expensive to bulk up) striking power (only FF5+ attacks) or durability? (no armor) Buying more formations doesn't necessarily answer the question, as you're pouring more points into inefficient units, trying to compensate for quality with expensive quantity. Which leads to the second problem,
Quote:
"getting into position" - teleport in numbers, followed up by mobile reserves to support multiple threats.
[/quote]
What happens after you teleport? Assuming your opponent isn't kind enough to put all of his forces into a nice intermingled cluster and then let you win the SR roll, you've fired off a third of your points to wipe out a unit or two. He is now going to move away, casually destroy your Armor 6+ Light Vehicles, and spend the rest of the game destroying you from range. While the teleport does help the initial wave get where they need to be, when that's done you have units with a critically limited threat range. They have to Double in order to put some 6+ shots at 45cm away, whereas Steel Legion guardsmen are able to Sustain 4+ shots out to that same range, or threaten out to 75cm if they move. Post-teleport, your troops are essentially worthless due to their limited speed and range.

[I've moved around some stuff in my proposed changes, limiting some of the Infantry Company adjustments.]


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 Post subject: Re: For Elysia! The Elysian Drop Troop Regiment v3.x
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:08 pm 
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How about something like Re-Teleport?
Instead of Rallying (removing Bastmarkers at the end of the turn) the Formation is removed from the board (picked up by high flying Vylkyries, the same which "teleported" themon the board). Next turn they can teleport again.

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 Post subject: Re: For Elysia! The Elysian Drop Troop Regiment v3.x
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:59 pm 
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How can a high flying valkyrie pick guys off the ground?


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 Post subject: Re: For Elysia! The Elysian Drop Troop Regiment v3.x
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:10 pm 
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How can an invisible, invulnerable Valkyrie teleport guys to the ground?

Eeither re-teleporting or an independend Aircraft-Valkyries formation with WE transport rule are needed to maintain the mobility of the Elysians.

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 Post subject: Re: For Elysia! The Elysian Drop Troop Regiment v3.x
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:13 pm 
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Introduce a formation of (6?) Valkyries which can then transport a aerial drop unit ?

(Although that does slightly break the transporting rules... just a little ;) )

EDIT:
Quote:
How can an invisible, invulnerable Valkyrie teleport guys to the ground?

Drop chutes :) Throw the troops out at high altitude and let em fall.


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 Post subject: Re: For Elysia! The Elysian Drop Troop Regiment v3.x
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:16 pm 
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Personally I think a total rethink is needed. Teleport makes no sense at this scale, it barely does at 40k scale.

Something like planetfalling valkyries (to represent dropping from high altitude), or possibly a "high flying valkyrie" transport flyer would be a better representation.


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 Post subject: Re: For Elysia! The Elysian Drop Troop Regiment v3.x
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:21 pm 
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I've been telling that to Honda for almost six years.

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 Post subject: Re: For Elysia! The Elysian Drop Troop Regiment v3.x
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:35 pm 
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Oh? do tell -

I thought that 'teleport' was a good analogue for 'parachute drop', missing only the random element of wind / weather that scattered forces in the past (and which could now be almost entirely removed by modern 'chutes etc.)

And the Valks / Vendettas also make a reasonable analogue for the 'air cavalry' style helecopter tactics of Vietnam - though in that respect I would like to include the ability for the Elysian skimmer formations to pick up ground forces (revising the current transport rule limitations) :)


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 Post subject: Re: For Elysia! The Elysian Drop Troop Regiment v3.x
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:37 pm 
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Parachute drops already have rules in epic: the 15cm disembark jump packs get when disembarking from a transport aircraft. Invisible planes make no sense.

I do like the idea of having valkyries as seperate formations with the war engine transport rules, rather than attached to the infantry though. Very 'nam.


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