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Any place for the Tetsubo?

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Aside from the obligatory small in an Air-core fleet, is there really any use to the Tetsubo?  They're no longer the boarding threat they were, they can't fly stratospheric....anything really good about them?  Even with air hunter, if they're trying to stay obscured that means they're just hitting on 4+ with not all that many dice, unless they catch an air unit that's flying below obscured height.

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At the moment, no. According to a few of the beta testers, its current AD spread is a typo, and should read 3/4/5/- instead of 3/4/3/-.

However, this has been said since before the June 20th update, and the stats weren't updated then, so...who knows. If/when it gets the "proper" AD spread, it could be a neat squad, but until then it's dead weight.

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At the moment, no. According to a few of the beta testers, its current AD spread is a typo, and should read 3/4/5/- instead of 3/4/3/-.

However, this has been said since before the June 20th update, and the stats weren't updated then, so...who knows. If/when it gets the "proper" AD spread, it could be a neat squad, but until then it's dead weight.

 

Why are they dead weight? 150pts for a squad of Air Hunters putting out 9/12/9 in rockets (so only kills can cause degradation in firepower), which is enough to cause problems to bombers or medium flyers, and can do a emergency climb afterwards to avoid retribution? Plus they're fast, maneuverable, and don't have to get in close to do their thing (unlike SAS).

 

I can't really see an alternate unit that can do all that in the EotBS TO&E. Yes, definitely a niche unit, but how is that different to the Merlin, Capek, Voltaire, Saransk etc.?

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Why are they dead weight? 150pts for a squad of Air Hunters putting out 9/12/9 in rockets (so only kills can cause degradation in firepower), which is enough to cause problems to bombers or medium flyers, and can do a emergency climb afterwards to avoid retribution? Plus they're fast, maneuverable, and don't have to get in close to do their thing (unlike SAS).

 

I can't really see an alternate unit that can do all that in the EotBS TO&E. Yes, definitely a niche unit, but how is that different to the Merlin, Capek, Voltaire, Saransk etc.?

 

Well, lets go down the list:

The Good:

-Evasive Maneuvers on a small flier make the Tetsubo potentially annoying to deal with.

-Able to deliver firepower out to RB3 without much care for LoS

 

The Bad:

-For 150 points (or slightly more or less as the case may be) I can invest in squads that perform a much wider array of roles, often with stronger weapons (sometimes including stronger rockets), greater durability, and don't suffer from horrible match-ups (RoF and to a lesser extent RC).

-Air Hunter is nice, but it mostly just takes the rockets from "poor" to "usable", and even then only against Air targets. 9/12/9/- Rockets isn't exactly the most threatening sight, and considering how squishy the Tetsubo is, dropping those already low numbers isn't exactly a difficult task, Evasive Maneuvers shenanigans notwithstanding.

-The claim of them being maneuverable is suspect to me. Their 13" move is hampered by a 4" minimum and to a lesser degree, Momentum. While the 45 degree turn alleviates this a bit, it still means they're a touch on the wonky side.

 

Also, this isn't a question of how they stack up to similar units in other forces...this is a question of how they stack up to the other units in the EotBS. Their main problem is over-specialization in a niche that is non-essential the majority of the time (aka any game that isn't Air Core): They can threaten aerial smalls and mediums, and to a lesser degree larges/massives...and that's about it. They can't really do anything else, and when you line them up next to all the other choices we have in a similar price range (120 to 170 points), it becomes painfully obvious how narrow their focus is. Worse still, it doesn't even do the job it's made for all that much better than the more general units in the force.

 

The bottom line is, there's no place outside of Air Core for the Tetsubo because it does a job that isn't particularly important most of the time, and it doesn't even do that job all that much better than other units in the force. I do think that if it ends up getting that 3/4/5/- spread at some point, it'll actually be a far more threatening unit, but until then, my opinion remains firm.

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While obscured, it starts at 5+, and from captial ships it is only hit on 6. And it has a good CR 6 combined with evasive => great staying power.

A FSA Battleship firing its main guns at you at RB 3, would do in average 4.4 hits if fired seperatly and in average 6 if combined. 

Its rockets battery would do in average 3.6 before you use AA to remove them. Broadside will have to be lucky to hit you.

Thus, a full firepower of a FSA Battleship at RB 3 would kill 1, maybe 2 if they are lucky.

And 0 if you are lucky.

 

But the 3/4/3 seems strange indeed. With 3/4/5 it would have been 9/12/15 instead... Far more deadly.

The difficult part is that it has forward rockets, although 90^o, it is still more or less forced to move towards the enemy, while you might want to keep distance...

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if those rockets were "faster rockets" they would be useful, sadly they dont have the offensive punch and no utility role to fall back on, for 150pts they are useless.

 

as for the russians, yes deffinently bring disruption nodes, especially once he figures out he can copy his own rocket jammers to double up the effect, he had his dreadnought running around with 8 jammer dice....then his AA, ontop of his ablative armour.

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if those rockets were "faster rockets" they would be useful, sadly they dont have the offensive punch and no utility role to fall back on, for 150pts they are useless.

 

as for the russians, yes deffinently bring disruption nodes, especially once he figures out he can copy his own rocket jammers to double up the effect, he had his dreadnought running around with 8 jammer dice....then his AA, ontop of his ablative armour.

 

I think they're reasonable for what you get - EoBS rockets work okay by sending diminishing salvos into the same target until it is destroyed (assuming you're damaging the target each time, then the AA decreases significantly). Building a list around that principle could work with Tetsubo, but of course you need to prioritise your target well during deployment. Being Small certainly helps them to achieve that, and being aerial means they will ignore many problematic LoS issues.

Also, p151 (CERB) - "A Model may not attempt to Mimic a Generator they already possess".

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For me, the main benefit of the Tetsubo is to prevent my opponent getting a quick victory with the kill all smalls fleet order victory condition. I like to use frigates and corvettes aggressively, so having a squadron of obscured small models that operate at any range band is a good strategic option to deny my enemy a quick victory if he draws or picks that fleet order. I do wish the AA was a little bit better through pack tactics or even heavy AA or similar so they were a bit better at aggressively 'intercepting' SAW but the rockets with hunter they usually put some pain on enemy large and medium flyers.

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if those rockets were "faster rockets" they would be useful, sadly they dont have the offensive punch and no utility role to fall back on, for 150pts they are useless.

 

as for the russians, yes deffinently bring disruption nodes, especially once he figures out he can copy his own rocket jammers to double up the effect, he had his dreadnought running around with 8 jammer dice....then his AA, ontop of his ablative armour.

As was pointed out, mimic generators can not be used to double up the generators on a ship.

 

Try to have an understanding of the rules before you go around labeling units as "useless".

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i dont use mimic generators so ill be sure to let my russian counterpart know, not that it matters with his rolling on the first generator anyways :P

 

as for the tesubu ive tried to make them work several times in 2.0 but they just dont contribute enough to make their hefty pricetag worth it, they are severely lacking in damage and arent a boarding threat, they are only good for finishing off near dead models, but for 100pts i could get 5 fugin that would do the same, far better. 

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It's always a balancing act tho, taking 3 squads of Fujin depletes your long range firepower - and they are be a one-shot weapon (ironically, performing the same role that the Tetsubo's had in the last edition!) At present, they are hit on 6's when obscured, and need 3 of them to take one down...that makes them more survivable than the Fuijins (hit on 5's, needing 4 hits).

I would take them to clear enemy aerial units first, but as the second or 3rd salvo. Smalls shouldn't be able to one-shot a large unit, but as its defences weaken they can deliver the coup de grace.

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Fuijin:

+1 inch movement

+better manuverability. (minimum movement 4in and no sharp move is steep)

+better firepower in RB 1

+basic firepower with no AA defence.

+ twice the boarding threat

+Cheaper (100pt versus 150)

+cannot be targeted by AA

 

Tetsub

+exceptional well protection versus captial ships while obscured

+combined with evasive manuevers +1.

+most normal guns cannot fire at it in RB 1.

+far better protection in general

+better firepower in RB 3.

+Fire starter (the more fire the better)

+air hunter gives them far better firepower versus units in stratospheric layer.

 

 

 

Fuijin is far better ofensivly, but the Tesub has much better protection and staying power.

In order to roll in average 3 6's form your initial pool of dice, you need to roll 18 dices, and even if you do roll 18 dices from a captial ship thats far from garanteed to pick one of them out. And even if your enemy did manage to kill one, thats 18 dice just to get rid of 1 out of the 5 Tesub's. A full primary assault on them from for example GeorgeTowns in RB 2 will be able to fire with 16 firepower+1 reroll.  So a full squad of US cruisers can at best hope to kill 1 at range band 2. Keep tham away from enemy fighters and other non-captial nasties, and the 6+ to hit realy makes them though.

 

 

Also, the air-hunter gives them some tricks versus special units. They are exceptionaly good at striking down other smal air units and other type of air units that regulary would hit on 6+.

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Shouldn't the Tetsubo really be compared with the Yurgi? Both are moderately long-ranged rocket smalls.

 

The Yurgi trades in being a flier and all that entails for considerably more powerful rockets and a mediocre gun. It's a trade ultimately in favor of the Yurgi, as it's actually able to dish out damage reliably (13/16/18/- on the rockets, compared to 9/12/9/- on the Tetsubo), whereas the Tetsubo mostly specializes in being annoying to hit.

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Personally I find the Tetsubo isn't worth it anymore. Sure I've yet to loose more than 2 in a game, but they've never had an impact. Usually mmy opponent just ignore them, maybe chasing them down with SAS if he gets air superiority. 

 

Maybe if you coulld use them to fill out your only small and be quite secure against that objective. But that only works for an air core.

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I tried them out last weekend vs Brittania. They made a decent showing, largely thanks to my opponents unfounded and pathological fear for them. He basically threw his entire right flank at them, but they proved to be very survivable and kept on plinking his ships/flyers for 1HP/per turn throughout the battle.

 

In short;

 

1. Still very difficult to kill

2. Their attack is at least usable now, though I'm not sure that their meagre offensive output warrants their 150pts price tag. Will try them more.

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