Saturday, June 30, 2012

Vehicles got better in 6th edition?

Alright, most of us know the changes to 6th edition by now and a lot of people are wondering if vehicles got better or worse.

My answer to that is that we will not really know until a few months from now. If they are bad we will see a meta shift away from them, and if they are good you will see a move to even more of them.  

Now if I had to take a guess, I would say that vehicles got better and here is why:

It is much harder to kill vehicles now with one shot.
I know what you’re saying…what about hull points killing them in the long term? Yes it is harder to kill tanks in the short term, but easier to kill them in the long term. What this means though is:

  A) You have to allocate a lot more resources to kill them. In 5th edition if you glanced a vehicle you could stun lock it making it not fire the next round. You could stop shooting at it at that point because the threat of it shooting was neutralized for a turn, and you could move on to the next tank. Now in 6th edition what you have to do is keep shooting at it if you want it not to shoot next turn. Same goes when you hit a vehicle with a penetrating shot because in 5th edition you had a good chance of wrecking it, and if you did that you did not have to allocate any more shooting at it for the rest of the game. Now because they are harder to kill you are only knocking off hull points so you have to keep shooting, and shooting, and shooting at it to wreck it. That is a lot of shooting over several turns that you did not have to do in 5th.

  B) A vehicle with 1 hull point left is just as big of a threat as a vehicle with 3 hull points left. Here is another thought for you…all game you are shooting at vehicles and they are getting whittled down so that they are almost dead. For the most part now they are firing back still at full firing capacity (minus any weapon destroyed results of course). So for an example if you look at a comparison between a vehicle (predator) and an infantry squad (tac marines), the predator will still be firing and blazing away until it is dead in the later turns. If you allocate the same amount of shooting to tac marines over several turns they will take damage each turn and more and more marines will drop lowering their combat and shooting effectiveness. So each turn marines are taking damage their damage output is constantly diminishing from casualties, but the predators damage output stays nearly the same until it is dead. 

Cover saves!
Now you only have to cover 25% of the vehicle. There are many times when you try to get a 50% cover save you could not fire all of your weapons due to the way that terrain was configured. The downside is that it is now only a 5+ cover save, but the upside is that you are going to be getting it more often. 

Shooting and scooting
Now vehicles can shoot better on the move. Sure, you are only taking snap shots with the other guns after the first at 6", and if you are moving 12" you are snap shooting everything, it is still better than what you had before.  

The vehicle losers
I will tell you one group of vehicles that did get worse though, and we might be seeing less of…vehicles with no armor and 2 hull points. Yes, I am looking at you storm talon, venom, land speeder, sentinel, piranha, vyper, war buggys, and killa kans. With only 2 hull points you might survive the first shot, but the second will kill you. Add to this that you have no armor, almost everything is going to glance/pen you.

Also vehicles have to be a bit more weary of assaults. They are hit easier, but on the whole I think the gains out weight the losses. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

2 GTs in the last 2 weeks, and why I have no Apothecaries in my Paladin squads.

Well, the new job has been taking more time than the old job but it looks like I will have a bit more time on my hands going forward.

Slaughter in Space GT
At the Slaughter in Space in LA I went 1-2-1 which was one of my worst outings at a tournament. In my defense one of my games I lost due to time. I need to watch the clock when I play foot elder. I have literally lost more games due to time running out and only getting to turns 4-5 than actually losing by play. The Eldar are kind of slow (odd saying that about an eldar army) and it needs a full game to move out and take objectives, and shoot the opponents off of theirs just like Tau do. The tie game was to (oddly enough) to a paladin army. The game ended turn #5 and I think I could have won it on turns 6 & 7, 

The other game I lost was to the #2 player in the US (according to Rankings HQ) and his brutal Grey Knight list. It was a really close games but I made 2 mistakes:

#1. It was a kill point mission and I was shooting my Wraithlords at his Land Raider redeemer which was a waste of shots. I have not played my Footdar in a year and I have been playing my Grey Knights where a land raider packed with DCA are a huge threat. To the Foot Eldar they move forward, the get out, kill a screen of guardians and then they get taken out by dire avengers. The Wraithlords should have been shooting at his razorbacks and getting the ‘low hanging fruit’ of his weak kill points.

#2. Was not having Jetbikes. After Adepticon I was going to stop playing my Draigowing army and I was going to work on an all jetbike army. I decided to hold off on it because I have no idea how it will function in 6th edition. I do not want to put all this time and energy into converting it and painting into it to have it be nerfed with the new rule set. So the current state of all of my jetbikes are disassembled at the moment. I was going to do a harlequin themed jetbike army so I was going to use the metal jetbike cowlings and hack up some metal harlequins. So right now all of my jetbikes are scatted over my workbench in a million pieces. I run 2 squads of 4 bikes with destructorlocs for not only some quick scoring units, but for a heavy flamer as well. What I did not realize is that I rely on them for anti-tank. I have posted in the past how good they are at taking out land raiders, but the fast moving shriken cannon and the singing spears are really good at killing vehicles. Footdar have trouble with anti-tank because they only have the wraithlords, and what strength 6 shooting they have, and I really felt the loss of the jetbikes from my army.

Game Empire GT
The other GT I went to last week was at Game Empire San Diego. I took my Draigowing and at 1500 points the army does not functioning as well as it does at higher point limits. I took:
10 Paladins w/4 psycannons (fully upgraded of course)
10 GK Strike Squad w/2 Psycannons
2 Dreads
That is it.

The games I lost were to Mech Eldar. I just do not have the firepower to kill skimmers (especially after he took out my dreds really fast). So at the end of the game he just bum-rushed the objectives and contested/controlled all of them. I won kill points, but lost Capture and Control and Seize Ground. I thought his army was a very good list for the BAO mission set. I might try something like this in the future only trying to make the army a bit more durable to limit the kill point failure source. Maybe a bunch of Falcons with DAVUs would be better.

The other game I lost was to Battlewagon Orks. I normally do well against them, and I had just beaten 2 others in the tournament and this time I shot the heck out of the side armor of his battlewagons with several turns of Dreadnaught fire and psycannons, and  I ended up killing 1 Battlewagon on turn #2 when my army came on from reserve, then after 3 turns of fire, and after a ton of penetrating hits and glances I killed the second Battlewagon on turn #5 from assault. They were open topped for the +1 on the result table, but I could just not roll above a 3. I did immobilize one and then grot riggers fixed in the next turn. I lost a dreadnaught and my strike squad when my deep strike ended up going straight at him 10” to get lost in a sea of green. So the Battlewagons contested all of the objectives, and we tied 2-2 on kill points. That was a very frustrating game since I just could not kill those battlewagons.
I ended up with the 3rd highest Battle Points, and middle-of-the-pack sports and paint. Again if was obvious that my army was missing something, It is very different when you have everything working well, and you have a lot of synergy, and then you take out an element, and your army does not work the same as it did. This time I really missed my Interceptors. My army was so slow without them and I could just not get to where I needed to be. They are a vital unit to my army doing well.

So as I said I am going to play out 5th edition with the Draigowing because there is so much uncertainty with 6th edition. I think the last run for them will be Wargames Con and possibly the NOVA Open if they are going to use 5th edition.

Here are some thoughts about Apothecaries in Paladins squads  
Everyone wonders why I do not take the Apothecaries in my paladin squads and there are a few reasons why.

#1. Cost. You pay 75 points for the apothecary upgrade and for that you could buy 3 wounds worth of paladins. So he is not worth his points unless he can save 4 wounds (3 wounds he just breaks even). How often do paladins fail 4 wounds? Remember, you can’t use him on Strength 8 weapons or AP 2 weapons which are the ones that kill paladins. So if you extrapolate what those 4 wounds mean, it is very hard to do. Remember, you have to fail 8, 2+ saves to get FNP to save 4 wounds, and that is after rolling to hit and to wound. To give you an example of the numbers, it would take 6 turns of 3 war walkers with scatter lasers to do it, 144 bolter shots, 144 venom shots, etc. You see how difficult it is to make him worth taking.

#2. You lose squad flexibility. I like to combat squad my paladins. I find that 2 squads with their combat and shooting are better than one massive unit. In the 11th company podcast last week I talked a little bit about the weakness of the paladins being able to target/assault one unit, and you limit that weakness with combat squads. You need to keep them to a 10 man unit to have the apothecary be able to give FNP to the most models. If you have him in a 5-man squad you opponent will just shoot at the other combat squad.

#3. Fire magnet. Here is an idea for you: I want people to shoot at my paladins. Paladins are very hard to kill so they act as a fire magnet. Every shot headed at them is a shot not going at one of my weaker units. You do not want to make the paladin unit so strong that people will not be tempted to shoot at them. You need them to be able to lose a few wounds so that they will take some fire.