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Thamoz last won the day on July 5 2017

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  1. Go penguins! Preferably armed with all consuming particle accelerators that reach out and vanquish whole squadrons of smalls from afar!
  2. Tsk, I don't know, you leave a place unattended for a few months and someone goes and redecorates! Good to see people are still floating around here though.
  3. I think wolfchild was talking about the Descartes energy blast, which can be used from wavelurking and is rather overwhelmingly destructive with lucky rolls.
  4. Give drones natural hunter +1 everything. (Our drones are the best drones with the most experienced controllers) Give carriers combat coordinator swarm tactics. (Seems reasonable to assume that there would be more drones buzzing near their launch ships) Give command and control vessels (e.g. hyperbius, hippasus) Combat Coordinator hunter +2 (which replaces rather than stacks with their natural +1 if my memory of the rules is right) (Specialist support systems make our drones super precise). Boom, job done. @Spartan Mike please send my consultancy fee to the usual address, I will accept new resin minis in lieu of cash. (I am also available to help patch the PA rules back into a fun shape! :P)
  5. 1250 seems to me to be the level where taking a dread is not an unacceptable risk. Below that then taking a dread is pretty much asking for defeat, it shapes the game around it.
  6. True, but most fighters don't have swarm tactics and only have hunter +1 so they would hit on 5s. Still effective against lighter medium aircraft though.
  7. They don't need to (and you are right, they can't). 6+ base to hit value from target being stratospheric, plus hunter +2 from the RoE carrier to make it a 4+.
  8. RoE drone fighters in range of their combat coordinator boost. 12 dice hitting on 4+. Merlins are probably a good bet too.
  9. In 2.0 smalls, particularly corvettes, were a counterbalance to dreadnoughts. 200 points of corvette could easily prize a 300 ish point dreadnought, which meant taking a dread in a small point game was practically conceding the game before it started. Carriers also had to be very wary of them. The smalls with more of a gunnery focus were more about having the right amount of firepower in the right place. Deploying after most big targets and having a good fast mv value means they are usually in the right place at the right time to deal with any hugely nasty threat or hit the enemy right where it hurts. I believe their presence was necessary for balance, even if I relied more on my medium section to do the heavy lifting. In 2.5 I think the part about boarding will be less true, but the rest will still hold. That said, I have not played a no-smalls game. Try it and tells us about it
  10. So, think I will stick this in this thread. Today I had a few 2.5 games with the new particle accelerator. Notably the Aristotle version. I should say first that these were into games, so the fleets were not optimised and it was meant to be a beginner friendly game. 750 points, no SAW or flyers etc. I played one game with the Aristotle and one against the Aristotle. It is still a liability to have in the front line, though the changed to boarding to benefit it more than I thought it would. The accelerator though... that big blast... It is not like it used to be. It can't be used pre-emptively, like before to stop a small boarding squad, but it really does punish those who get close, especially if they are in close formation. But more than that, when I was playing against it I was very aware of its destructive power, it made me re-evaluate and reconsider my movement. On the Aristotle, a 7 inch movement battleship but with the potential for 9inches straight forward, a surprisingly large amount of space can be threatened. It doesn't capture the feeling of a particle accelerator like it used to, but this new version does have a use and makes coming close to our fleet a very dangerous proposition. I did not find an issue in placing the blast, but this was a low point game so I did not have many ships that would complicate the placement. Short ramble over.
  11. Very true Shadowcatdecoy, which leads me nicely into a review of our new units! Lets start with the Praxilla (a greek poet). Our first true submarine falls into a familiar mode, its hull is basically a KoB vanguard with a lower AP value, capital designation (and thus 5hp) and a far lower impact rating. Like many other submarines it has no potential for underwater warfare, needing to surface to use its deceptively powerful long lance. Looking at the weapon spread (8/8/6/6) and its squad size (2) it is easy to fall into the trap of comparing it to the good old reliable Fresnel. Both offer decent strength (now piercing) shooting at long range. Whilst I do not think the Praxilla is a sniper ship, for comparison in rb4 the Praxilla throws 9 dice which, due to hunter surface, will often result in 9 hits. Fresnels throw 16 that results in about 13 hits. It is clear that the Fresnel is still king here, so what is the role of the Praxilla? Well little penguin, let us look at what we have. As a submarine with reinforced bulkheads the Praxilla is a tough medium and will need dedicated anti-submarines weapons to shift it. That, combined with its speed, means the Praxilla will be able to provide a powerful punch in the right place at the right time. Not only that, but it is the type of punch we have been seriously lacking. In RB2, which is when the dice of the long lance get better and the target painter generator comes into play, the Praxilla tells a captivating story. It tells of 12 dice, augmented by a target painter, hitting on 2+. This is the type of punch that can slap dreadnoughts around with a bit of luck. Even the single firing 8 dice stands a fair chance at piercing through the DR and delivering some focused critical hits and some lethal strike AP loss. This is exactly the sort of concentrated force, the feeling of power through precision rather than brutality, that makes the CoA feel true. Here we have a pair of ships that can go hunt enemy larges/massives... But there is a problem. Once you deliver a crippling shot like that there will be reprisals. At DR5 and CR6, a surfaced Praxilla will fold under any medium strength firepower the enemy has. To avoid this grisly fate and having the squadron turn out to be a one shot weapon it has a few things going for it. Evasive maneuvers helps get back to the safety of submerged, but even on a 4+ it is not wise to count on this. Hit and run gives it 4 inches of movement to find cover, which can help but probably not enough. This leaves the corvette-style of safe use, activating them late in the turn when not much will be able to fire at them or making sure there are more pressing threats to deal with. So I like the Praxilla, I think it adds a tool to our toolbox that the enemy will find surprising and distressing. In a fleet of specialists we now have a close range precision killer. Sure the Fresnel or Kepler-Aristotle will out do it in RB3 or 4, but for the price of 160 points the Praxilla offers a threat that is tough to counter until after it has made an impact. I look forward to running a pair in concert with a Descartes of either mk. The mk2 will give them a guardian shield (still boo for us having one of these) and capitalise on their lethal ability to strip crew from a juicy enemy target, the mk1 will give them a speed boost and the Praxilla will pair well with the ranged skirmishing role of the mk1. So much piercing! Gotta love that new focused critical hit table -------------- Next and probably the most simple new toy, let us look at the Theon (greek word for god I think). Following in the footsteps of the Ptolemy, Euclid and Capek, the Theon is a 360 degree UFO style flier with a body like a heavy destroyer. 3HP, squadron size 2-3, 3AA, 2AP, these are not terribly exciting stats. What we do have here though is a blistering 15 inches of movement. On a 360 degree flier. For an idea of what that means, on turn 2 this thing can nearly have crossed the table and be sitting in the deployment zone of the enemy. And when it gets there is has a nasty surprise for the enemy; a 7AD fore gun with sturginium munitions, hunter aerial and pack tactics. That is a 16AD on 4+ smash to the face of any heavy bomber or sky fortress hiding in obscured. Even Stratospheric flyers will feel the pain of that shot (on a 5+ it generates nearly 10 hits) Or just 3 straight up 7AD shots on 4+ against those small fliers who think they are so tough up in the sky. On the downside, these are 40 points each, with dr3 cr5 and not much else to keep them alive. Small target will help a little, and the fact that you can easily position them outside of nasty fire arcs or inside RB1 where enemy naval vessels will struggle to target you, but the downside of operating in close range is that enemy fighter SAW will easily start to snap you up. Each 5 strong fighter SAW will likely cause a damaging critical hit on a Theon, which is enough to wipe it from the sky. Like the Praxilla, living after you make that hit is going to be a tricky trick to pull off. Being too aggressive with the Theons will have them caught up in the dreadfort before you know it. ------------ So finally we have the Menedaius (a Spartan king or general I think) and Newton (... guess). Our first repair vessels. I have very very rarely used repair vessels before. My other main faction is KoB and they do not benefit from repair vessels as much as some other nations, so I have always been more likely to put the points into aggressive ships which deal damage rather than try to fix it. The CoA on the other hand have a few vessels where damage repair would be very handy. Primary turret Aristotle for example (note: taking a primary turret aristotle is silly. Don't do it.) or Cleomedes cruisers. Either way, I do not yet have enough real experience with repair vessels to come to a conclusion on the usefulness of this aspect of the ship yet. So putting that aside for a moment (What? put aside the specialist use of a vessel in a fleet of specialists when trying to evaluate it? What madness is this?) The Mededaius clocks in at 175 points, which is about as much as a lighter battleship like the FSA Independence or French Magenta. It is also in the region of battle or assault carriers. In our own fleet it is directly competing with the Descartes as a slightly cheaper large vessel. It has DR5 and CR 9 and 8 HP (backed up by inventive shield 3), so not a terribly tough beastie but not too squishy either. It has a good level of elite AP (8) strong ackack (7) and decent CC (5). Oh, and a pathetic IR too, but that hardly matters on this big boat. So far so good. But what about firepower? A low-cost battleship or similar usually throws about 2 strong attacks and a weaker supplementary one. The Mededaius brings two turrets, either the above standard 9/7/6/4 or a decent 6/6/6/6 energy turret. I suspect energy is probably the way to go with this ship, but the primary spread is not bad and the fact the ship can repair itself may help to offset redoubtable. Turrets link for a 14/11/9/6 or a 9/9/9/9 shot. Additionally the Menedaius brings a strong torpedo array into battle, 12/12/12/12 shield-ignoring torpedoes that travel too fast for enemy CC to link against. And finally as a supplementary it carts around a somewhat uninspiring but still useful 10/8/-/- sturginium munitioned broadside. For comparison the mk1 Descartes brings a 12/12/12/12 energy turret shot, a 12/10/8/6 broadside and an 8/8/8/8 torpedo shot. Overall so far? The Menedaius seems to bring fairly decent firepower and fairly decent resilience for its points cost. Included in the deal is the rather tasty specialist defences (3) and experienced engineers, making survival just that bit easier for the ship. Fuel reserves is a slight negative of course, but the engineers should have that covered. Strategic value (50) is a tad sad but probably fair. So even without the repair function and its little baby Newtons, the Menedaius is not a bad vessel. It lacks wavelurker and is not terribly powerful but it is far from a liability to include (*cough* Pericles *cough*). Then we consider its true role and function. Repairing. It has 8 repair crew, meaning an average of 6 successes. This means it will not really help out the heavier ships that well but can certainly support medium (if only we had a superb medium section, eh? :P). The problem there is its slow speed. With a movement value of 6 it seems likely that our mediums would far outpace the lumbering lump. Luckily it brings along 4 tiny little repair boats that combine to be almost as effective at repairing as the Menedaius. So while the Newtons go off on their jollys with the medium section, the Menedaius sloops along slowly at the back with the slower larges. Larges that are all too easily crippled by a nasty critical effect. The Menedaius has this covered though, because the Menedaius is educated in solutions! Whilst its repair facility is not likely to repair that much damage on our lager models, it does not need to succeed in its repair to get rid of a critical effect token! So overall I think the Menedaius does its job in a very good and CoA-styled way. Would I take one? I will certainly try it out a few times. The only consideration is that, due to us being a fleet of specialists, I would need to remove one of the tools in my fleets to make room for this new one. Yay choices
  12. Because part of the KoB flavour is their reliance on/favour for torpedoes. In v1.1 they even had land torpedoes! On the subject of best submarine design, let me put it this way: Chainsaw, race car, submarine. All hail the Vengeance.
  13. Dreadnought levels of firepower on a battleship framework. Probably in the mid 200s in terms of point cost with a fairly hefty strategic value slapped on for good measure. I would give it the demi-dreadnought classification and say 260 points and 50 strategic value maybe. It would be so so superior to the Liberty heavy battleship though...
  14. That is a good spot! I had not seen that. It does make the battle orb a bit better I think, giving it a little more survivability on the front line where it wants to be. Might have to try it out again.
  15. Ok, so we have had a few days to chunter over the new ORBATS and what these changes mean for us. Here are my thoughts, starting with general observations and then considering drones. Defences: With the changes to boarding rules out larges have gained a slight boost to their survivability. Add to that the proliferation of shield (3) that has swept our large/massive section and you would think we are in a better position overall. We have always been a surprisingly tough fleet vs shooting, what with shields backed up by inventive scientists and wavelurkers. Unfortunately there is a weapon system that cuts straight through our defences, and it is a common one that is often further boosted with particular MARs. Torpedoes. They are now our bane. Our CC values tend towards average with some being downright terribad (Our dreadnought has a CC of 4). This was not a problem when torps were subject to our superior shields, but now they are barrage weapons I suspect we will be having a lot of problems. Heaven help the CoA ship that gets hit by the Deathbringer high payload torpedoes. Particle Accelerators: Currently our signature mad scientist doomsday weapon is not sitting in a good place. With the exception of the Zeno our particle accelerators are mounted on slow vessels. RB1 will only really happen on turn 3 with any degree of reliability, on turn 2 against fast targets. Add to this the problem of lining up a close range fixed channel weapon on vessels that usually like to operate near our other vessels... Well, for more thoughts on this weapon there is a thread already in existence. All I will add here is that hitting on a 3+ with an indiscriminate weapon should on average generate the same number of hits as there are AD on the weapon's profile. We seem to have 3 grades of PA. Low strength PA on the zeno with 7 dice, meaning a good chance of causing a crit on most mediums. Medium strength PAs on vessels like the Aristotle with 11 dice, which should cause critical hits on most larges but will not be in the region of causing a double crit on a medium. Finally there are high strength PAs with 12 or 13 AD such as those on our dreadnoughts, these stand a fair chance of causing a critical hit on anything that is not a dreadnought and causing double crits on weaker mediums. These AD numbers strike me as well thought out for each level of PA, skirting the line between powerful enough and too powerful very well. Generators: I could have sworn Spartan Mike hinted at us getting new generators. I concede we have had our shield facility boosted a little, which is nice. But when I read some of the new generators in the rulebook I was sure we would get one, possibly on the new models. What with the target painter problem (best summed up by Sebenko in the general section of the forum) I am not feeling the generator love that the CoA should surely have as a key part of its faction flavour. Drones: (and if a spartan reads any of this thread please please read and respond to this bit) Riiiiiight... for the record, I am fully in favour of the idea of our drones being boosted by combat coordinators. I think it adds a layer of tactical thought to our play. Now that everyone has the relaunch ability we enjoyed during 2.0, I think the ability to stack buffs so that our drones can outperform those silly aircraft piloted by fleshbags is a good one. So I am very sorry to say that I believe the implementation of this fine idea has been botched. As a fleet we rely on drones for a number of tasks; they are one of our very few good options for generating high AD pools that can hurt enemy large/massives, they supplement out anti-boarding ack ack as a CAP which helps cover a major major faction weakness, and they are our only real option for hunting submarines (especially now that PAs cannot blast out beyond RB1.) Whilst their necessity as a CAP might be debated and we have arguably benefited from the new boarding rules, the other two functions are critical to our fleet. Not only that, but we need to be able to apply these tools at range from our vessels otherwise it is usually too late. Now we are faced with 2 key problems caused by one main issue: To do these jobs our drones require the specific hunter MAR. All the other MARs and boosts are just gravy, but the hunter MAR is the meat and potatoes of what makes SAS effective. This gives us a truly horrific problem; to do their jobs we not only need to have selected the appropriate vessels to bring the right combat coordinator, but it needs to be in the right place (and remember a lot of them are our slow capital vessels) and they need to have been deployed in roughly the right area of the table. This is exacerbated by the generally low range of the combat coordinator MARs on the main vessels. As an example, let us consider a sub hunting scenario that has played out in my games many times before. I face an enemy submarine squardon (lets say KoB vanguards) that is racing towards me. I need to cripple this squadron before it gets into boarding range of my large/massive vessel. To do this I have some drone torpedo squadrons. Under 2.0 this would work out reasonably well for me, but now lets consider it in 2.5. My torpedo drones without any buffs will only hit on a 5+, so not even a full squadron stands a good chance of causing a critical hit when going through submarine level CC. Ok then, so we need to have our buffs. Our options for hunter submerged are... the Aristotle. Well, I hope I put one if my list, then deployed it in the right place. Luckily in this hypothetical example I did! So, my drones fly out to intercept the subm... oh, it is only an 8 inch range on the combat coordinator. And even then it is only +1, rather than +2 as is required to match other torpedo bombers. This is my main problem with the system as is. The combat coordinators are too short ranged and should supplement the drones working rather than have the drones absolutely reliant on them. Without this being the case I could screw my fleet over in the list building stage by not including the coordinator I need for them to do their job, screw my fleet over in deployment by putting the combat coordinators in the wrong area, and screw my fleet over anyway because the buffs do not push the drones function up to the base line of other SAS. The fix for this is easy and simple. Give the drones their hunter MARs as part of their base stat block. Do not have these vital MARS attributed to the combat coordinators. They are absolutely required, not an optional extra. Hunter aerial +1 for fighters, hunter surface +1 for dive bombers and hunter submerged +2 for torpedo bombers. This is the bare minimum required to make them useful in 2.5. As an extra to make the system fun and tactical (which currently it is not) give the player flexibility in which buffs each vessel gives. Give each vessel Combat Coordinator (X) and have a table on page 2 of the orbat that says X can be any one of a set of options such as are already scattered across the ORBAT. You could even then give points costs for certain options, or have some vessels like the Euclid given multiple combat coordinator (X). This makes it all about player choice and allows us to build a strategy and synergy out of the system. I would also like the range increased on the combat coordinators, but honestly the other two suggestions above far far outstrip this need for more range. So there are my thoughts, I thought I would finish on a high I have some thoughts about our new vessels too but I will save them for later. I feel it is more important to make the point about drones and see what my fellow penguins have to add on this matter. Reading back over it, this sounds a lot like me moaning and I would not usually want to take that tone on here. I apologise. Enthusiastic service will resume once I have worked the drone problem out of my system. Hey, at least they all have 14 inches of movement back again!
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