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Terran Tactica: Defenders of The Charter

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Terran tactics

 

The Terran navy functions very much like a modern navy, more so than any of the other races of Firestorm Armada. Powerful battleships, backed up by carrier craft, engage with SRS tokens and big guns, whilst cruisers and small craft race toward the enemy and fight in brutal close range duels.

 

This tactica post examines the Terrans in detail. 

 

A massive thanks to Meatshield for his original tactica on the Terrans, which this tactica draws heavily from.  You should notice more than a few references!

 

Firstly of all, briefly, we ask what are they good at and what are they not so good at in Version 2 of Firestorm Armada.

 

The good and the bad

 

Good

 

·        Weapon shielding = This MAR is a game winner, and the Terran ships have them in abundance.  Just because your ship is breaking in half and on fire doesn’t mean her guns stop firing!  This, together with good shields, makes Terran ships very deadly all the way up to the end.

 

·        Close range fire power = almost across the board the Terrans have deadly close range Range Band 1 firepower. Plenty of punch when they get up close.

 

·        Shields = Like the Aquan’s, the Terrans favour shields on pretty much everything, from the mightiest battleship to the lowest escort ship.  This adds massively to their potential , thougt not guaranteed, survivability.

 

·        Beam weapon options = whilst the majority of Terran ships have just good old guns, some can be upgraded with beam weapons, giving them an additional edge at close range and some different range bands.

 

·        Multiple angels of attack using turrets and omnidirectional torpedoes’ = Terrans are big users of turrets and torpedoes.  What this translates into is a fleet that can present a threat from any angle.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve turned their flank or even got round behind them; they’ll still shoot at you and engage you with torpedoes.  It makes battlefield positioning much more forgiving or you and much more of a headache for your enemy.

 

·        Nukes = the Terran ‘thing’ is an abundance of nuclear weapon options.  Don’t forget about them! Enemies grouped together can be made to pay dearly with a good nuclear strike and small ships in particular can be badly wrecked. A Deadly, formidable weapon option.

 

Bad

 

·        CP loss = Always the Achilles heel of the Terrans have been the crew.  Enemies with crew killer weapons will have a field day with the Terrans so watch out.

 

·        Boarding threat = Terrans aren't built for boarding.  Most ships don’t have specialist boarding options so getting boarded is a real threat for everyone including even big ships.  In turn, we have few ships with offensive boarding upgrades.  Do your best to avoid.

 

·        Lack of fancy weapons = no gravity guns or EMP weapons.  Apart from nukes and the odd beam weapon, Terrans do things the normal way; Bullets and bombs and lots of them.

 

 

General attack plans

 

Identify – prioritize - eliminate. So said Meatshield in his excellent tactica and so I shall repeat here.

 

Identify – what’s a good target in your opponents fleet that, if destroyed, would yield you the advantage.  Is it the battleship with the admiral on board?  Is it that cruiser squadron on the right flank?  What about that frigate squadron posed on race up the other flank?

 

Prioritize – make yourself a kill list; what to destroy first to yield you victory?  What will weaken an enemy fleet’s effectiveness?  What can you beat down with your superiority in guns and torpedoes?

 

Eliminate – get your ships into range and destroy, one by one, the enemy ships.  Don’t forget about your key objectives as well!

 

Look to the particular advantages of Terran ship classes

 

·        Battleships are good at attrition warfare.  They have plenty of hit points, shields and firepower.  Terrans excel at just not dying.

·        Frigates have plenty of firepower and are more than capable of surprising an opponent.

·        The Heavy cruisers punch above their weight but are weak in the armour and shields department.  Deploy them carefully for maximum effectiveness.

·        The cruisers are good in any situation but can only be relied on after appropriate upgrades.

·        Lots of shields equals lots of damage soaking

·        Remember weapon shielding, as I’ve already said, it’s a potential game winner.
 

 

 

Deployment

 

Some basic premises for deployment apply to most fleets, but in particular to the Terrans because of their similarity to modern navals.

 

Deploying your small craft first of all is a good idea in any given scenario, often forcing your opponents hand to do the same.  This means your larger craft can be more easily positioned.  Remember, craft don’t block line of sight.

 

The Terrans, more than any other fleet, are a close range fleet.  Whilst they have long range torpedo capability, most of the big guns are at Range Band 1 and 2.  They want to get close.  With that in mind, deploying forward, and close, are suggested to maximize the benefit.  You’ll be able to race at your enemy and use your superiority in turrets and broadsides to give your ships plenty of enemy targets.  Just be aware of those pesky terrain pieces, particularly planets, that might get in the way.
 

Mutual support is key, not just with the likes of Aegis shield cruisers.  Everyone needs to help out everyone else so deploying in such a way as to maximize this will go a long way to making sure your ships don’t get swamped by a canny opponent.  Beware of enemy boarding attempt in particular; you don’t want your razorthorne suddenly being taken as a prize and losing you a valuable ship and handing your opponent a stack of points.  Let everyone watch everyone else’s back and support each other with fire power and torpedo strikes as you gang up on individual enemies and take them down.

Don’t discount options for reserves and shunting.  The Tyrant battleship, heavy and medium cruisers as well as your Pilgrim small craft are prime candidates for a shunt attack.  The Terran, with their omnidirectional weapons, are more suited to shunt attacks than many of their enemies.

 

 

 

Terran ships

 

Titan

 

“There are Gods.  And then, there are Titans.”

 

The Titan class Dreadnought has been the standard ‘Take this to kill them all’ model of the Terran navy ever since its release.  With the latest upgrades, she retains that title, but with some modification.

 

High HP and 3 shields make her very tough indeed, plus she has Weapon shielding like most Terran big ships and ‘Impervious’.  Upgrade options allow extra shielding and Sector shielding, useful when you’re ‘Crossing the T’ of an enemy battle line.

 

Weapons wise the Titan has a respectable forward nuclear weapons, though her true power is with her turrets and broadsides’ that can really put the hurt on at close range.  However, beyond Range Band 2 the weapons are not quite as formidable.  The exception being the any direction torpedo’s, which pack a formidable wallop all the way out to 48 inches.  You’ve also the option of nuclear torpedoes, as any self-respecting Terran would expect, as well as split fire and decimiator warheads.

 

Considering her configuration, how does she size up to other ships of the same class?

 

As a comparison, consider the following two ships.

 

The cheaper Aquan Kraken class has better DR, and higher speed, though she lacks shields.  She has longer range and more powerful beam weapons too, as well as torpedoes that maintain the same damage across all ranges.

 

 

The Dindrenzi Retribution by contrast is the same price, with higher Dr, Cr and Hit points, but no shields.  Her weapons to appear more powerful, but less flexible, restricted as they are in the forward arc.

 

In comparison to the other two, the Titan is a more flexible, direct weapon system.  It’s not necessarily going to go toe to toe with similar ships in other fleets as it doesn’t have quite the same firepower.  However, as has been pointed out in Meatshield’s tactica, the Titan can easily take anything smaller than itself.

 

Hunt those mediums, use your superior weapons load, range and flexibility to take them out from whatever angle you find yourself at.  After they’ve been dealt with join the rest of the fleet in mopping up the enemy larger craft.

The Titan is an excellent Dreadnought when used properly, and a powerful asset to any Terran commander.

 

Tyrant:
 

“Tyrant by name, Tyrant by nature.”

 

The newest ship fielded by the Terran navy, the Tyrant is the black sheep of the Terran heavies and brings a wealth of opportunities for a clever commander.

 

She’s more expensive than the Apollo/Razerthorn but you’d expect to pay more for what is the Lamborghini of Terran large ships.  She’s faster, has more shields and more upgrade options that the others.  Of particularly major note is her Range band 2 optimization; the Titan and Apollo/Razorthorn favour the close range battle but the Tyrant instead sits better at RB2 with her beam weapons. 

 

 

Two upgrades in particular stand out.  The Shield projector MAR and the ability to give the Tyrant a small SRS component.

 

Both these upgrades lend to different roles that the Tyrant can play.  Put her close to the other heavies and you have, effectively, an Aegis support cruiser with guns and can look after itself.  Additional, you have SRS tokens to either provide additional PD defense or to finish off a damaged enemy with a well-judged bomber strike.

 

Alternatively, with her weapon spread and additional upgrades, the Tyrant is well suited to being the calvary, arriving at just the right moment via reserve or shunt.  No matter what area she drops in from she can lay down respectable fire and hopefully turn the tide no matter the situation.

 

The Tyrant is a highly effective toolbox unit.

Apollo/Razorthorn:

 

“Like a knife to the heart, the Apollo battleship.”

 

The Apollo, and previously the Razorthorn, are the ‘old guard’ of the Terran navy.  The Tyrant might be the fancy new play thing but the old battleships are not to be ignored.

 

Even without upgrades, the Apollo packs a formidable wallop. Long range torpedoes’ are her only long range weapon, but like most Terran torpedoes’ they are any direction so are good for striking at opponents who thought themselves safe.  Med to close range is where things get more interesting.  A formidable fore armourment, backed up by good broadsides and turrets.

 

The Apollo has been described as the Terran’s ‘knife fighter’ and this is definitely a good description.  Get under the enemies RB 1 guns and wreak havoc, trusting your shields to keep you safe.  Upgrades such as additional speed and additional shields, provide further advantages in getting up close.

 

However, take heed of her AP and CP; low for a battleship and with no assault enhancements.  The Apollo’s weakness in boarding actions.  First, don’t go boarding yourself unless you have a massive advantage and second, make sure the enemy doesn’t get a chance.  Slow him down, use supporting squadrons, anything to stop your enemy getting in.

 

Tactics wise a pair of Apollo’s/Razorthorns provide an interesting possibility, but only in larger games.  Alternatively, bring a couple of Apollos and a Tyrant for a truly deadly speartip, he Tyrant using it’s shield projector to boost the other ships and then using the turrets and broadsides to hammer into the enemy fleet.

Otherwise, the Apollo will serve you well as a battleship of choice

 

 

Marshal:

“Form up on the Marshal!”

 

The new Marshal fills a particular niche in the Terran naval capability; the ability to fire out respectable firepower at RB2.  Both her torpedoes and turrets do a good job.  But from her stats you also notice she is none too shabby at the close range fire fight and is sure to ruin anyone’s day.

 

However, as good as her guns and torpedoes’ are, with the torpedoes in particular helped by the Torpedo spook MAR, she isn’t tough or durable, especially when compared to other races battle cruisers.  This means she needs to be used carefully in any battle plan.

 

A particularly good suggestion would be to hold this particular Ace in reserve and shunt it in at an appropriate moment.  This will offset her inability to take a beating and maximize her firepower at an appropriate moment.  In addition, shunting in will give you the flexibility to use the Marshal to target particular enemies for destruction; prehapes that battleship you’ve already damaged, or the cruisers who are getting a bit too close for comfort.

Careful positioning when you shunt in might also reduce enemy return fire.

 

Whilst the Marshal isn’t quite a glass cannon, but she is close to that description.  Use it carefully, in the right circumstances, and she will serve you well.

 

 

Ares:

“Command the Ares to launch her bombers.  We’ve got them now!”

 

As an RSN player, I know the value of a good carrier.  The Ares is just such a weapon

She is packed with SRS tokens already but with her upgrades she can load up all the way to 12 wings, giving you lots of options for both offensive and defensive SRS tactics.

The first that leaps to mind is bombers; with a good Command Radius the Ares can move into position, launch and prehapes deliver the killing blow to an already damaged enemy with minimum threat to it’s SRS attack.  Careful positioning and defense will still be required.  In particular, remember the Ares can take as escorts a couple of Hermes/Teuton cruisers, or some Aegis shield cruisers.  As defensive aids they are worth considering as you close in for a potential kill.  Just remember that like most carriers, the Ares’s isn’t designed for a shooting war, though admittedly she is tougher than your average carrier with her good shields.

 

Fighters and interceptor swarms likewise give you excellent defensive and light offensive options.  With some good positioning and upgraded command radius your interceptors could potentially cover a lot of your fleet from enemy SRS attack.  Fighters meantime, in such numbers, pose an excellent threat to any enemy small craft coming your way.

 

Also don’t forget about the new V2 option, support shuttles.  Take a close look at their capabilities; replenishing damage AND crew.  Crew points in particular are gold for Terran’s given the problems encountered with combating boarders and surviving weapons that kill crew.

 

There is one more trick the Ares has up it’s sleeve; mines.  Terran aren’t exactly known for their abilities with mines but the Ares has them.  Trailing mines as you bank away from an potential enemy counter attack would bring a nasty surprise to your pursuers.  Just a thought!

 

The Areas is a good carrier and a valuable addition to the fleet

 

 

Templar/Hauberk:

“Templar squadrons forming up.  Commence the attack!”

 

Much of what has been said about the Marshal, applies to the Templar/Haubrek Heavy cruisers,  The fact is, these ships trade better hitting power (Excellent firepower for RB2 and nuclear forward armourment) for relatively light armour (low DR and only 1 shield as standard).  So they must be carefully deployed in such a way as to not attract too much firepower and end up flaming wrecks.

 

Shunting is a possibility, resulting in the Templar’s coming in much like the Tyrant or Marshal as ‘the calvary’ to engage the enemy quickly without having already taken fire.  The same with reserves. Alternatively, careful positioning so that the likes of tough ships are too the fore might encourage an enemy to leave the Templar alone.

 

As regards putting the Heavy cruises with the mediums, the advantage is not quite as big. Whilst firepower and weapons are similar, the heavy cruiser is one big target and will find itself mullered in short order by enemy attacks.  The advantage of a first or second turn attack with the heavy’s greater firepower will be quickly lost when the enemy shoots back.

 

 

Hermes/Teuton:

“Hermes squadron engaging, torpedoes away!”

 

The workhorses of the fleet.  Have always been, will always be.

 

However, a word of caution.  Whilst the Hermes cruisers are excellent value battlecraft, they do need those solid upgrade options in order to face off against other races similar craft. Nuclear torpedoes, weapon shielding and beam weapons must all be paid for on top of the crafts original price.  You will need to decide what upgrades will best suit how you us them.

 

A particular battle position at which the Hermes has the potential to excel is as a torpedo boat; loaded up with omnidirectional nuclear torpedoes she can prove a real threat at all threat ranges and hit just about anyone, anywhere.

 

Likewise, as an escort to our larger craft these cruisers do an excellent job.  Both officially and unofficially they can protect our larger craft and lend their firepower, prehapes sending an opportunist broadside toward a target before the bigger ship moves in for the kill.

 

Beam weapons and weapon shielding upgrades make the Hermes more of a close range fighter, giving her the weapons and protection she needs to go after either smaller ships or other mediums and having a respectable chance of hurting them.  Just beware sending them up against larger craft; without support they won’t last long.

 

The Hermes is a good cruiser.  Used right, she’ll serve you well.

 

 

Aegis Cruiser:

“Aegis powering up shields.”

 

Things have certainly changed for the Aegis.  Back in the day this craft was considered a primary requirement for most Terran fleets.  She sat, surrounded by the other ships, and kept everyone alive right up until they got close enough to the enemy fleet to put the hurt on.  The shield generator was absolute gold and rightly so.

 

Now, however, she finds herself with some competition in the form of the likes of the Tyrant, as well as the many upgrade options for additional shields and shielded options for other craft.  In other words, she’s not the game-winner she once was.  You can get your shield bonus’s via other means.

 

This doesn’t make the Aegis useless, but it does make her more useful in the likes of smaller games, were your fleet needs something that is cost effective and boosts multiple ships at the same time, which the Aegis does very well.  In larger games, you can afford to splash out on the likes of a Tyrant with shield projector and so the Aegis isn’t maybe as useful.

 

 

Meatshield mentioned shunting in his tactics suggestion and certainly, it’s not a bad option.  Bringing the Aegis in at an opportune moment could boost the shields of ships already damaged, or provide valuable protection for ships that find themselves behind enemy lines or deep on the attack.  Plus considering its points value it’s not too much of a gamble.

 

Also remember that the Aegis is an upgrade option for the Ares carrier.  Something to consider maybe?  After all, not only will shields be boost but the PD capability of the Aegis is not too shabby at all.

Also note that Aegis comes with options to increase both its command radius and speed; potentially she can be made into a very fast support cruiser, more than capable of giving protection to even the fastest of Terran ships.

 

 

Artemis:

“Artemis report they’re in position.  You need only give the word sir.”

 

The Artemis is something of an ‘odd fish’ amongst the destroyer classes.  This is due to two particular points.

One is that she still uses upgraded ‘guns’, not beam or other weaponry.  This means she’s using the old range bands, so is relatively short ranged for her attacks.  The second is that she really does need upgraded to be properly effective.  Though that upgrade, is very good; nuclear forward weapons.

 

Like most destroyers she has manoeurability and hidden killer MARS.  The slightly shorter range of her guns is more than made up for when you upgrade her to nuclear munitions.  It turns her into a very credible threat to your opponent and basically means he has to respond to it.  Left to it’s own devices this flying turret can merrily blast away at any number of targets, wreaking havoc with nuclear fire.

 

As wonderful as these options are, be aware that to really maximize Artemis’s use you need to think carefully about deployment; just where does this killer of men go?  The flanks with good fields of fire?  Or maybe in the shelter of that asteroid field or planet to cover a more limited area  maybe even right in the middle so as to counter any threat (just be aware, he’ll be a big bull eyes that way).

 

Just remember, the Artemis is not tough; if, or when, your opponent goes after them then they won’t last long. 

But before that, she’s a good sniper ship and no mistake.

 

 

 

Pilgrim/Armsmen:

“Our Pilgrims have launched torpedoes’.”

 

The pilgrim has seen some changes in version 2; they’re more expensive but for that you see better DR and more effective broadsides. Combined with the standard Terran any direction torpedoes the Pilgrim is a tough, nasty little ship more than capable of holding it’s own in multiple situations.

 

Couple of points; notice that the Pilgrims weapons are beam, not primary.  This translates into better range and the obvious potential for greater accuracy once the fast pilgrims close the distance. However, her bigger advantage is her torpedoes; at very long range she packs a wallop.

 

Thing is, she has competition; the Missionary, which can do a lot of what the Pilgrim does but for cheaper.  However, the missionary doesn’t do torpedoes and doesn’t have quite the same range advantage. 

My advice would be to take a good look at the rest of your fleet and decide what you need to fill the gaps.  The Pilgrim is a good torpedo boat and can fill in the niche for long range harassment, as well as having a go in close quarters. 

 

The missionary by contrast…well, lets take a look.

 

 

Missionary:

“Missionary weapons powering up.  Engaging!”

 

The missionary, the old reliable of many a Terran commander. And suitably different from the Pilgrim.

Gone are the beam and torpedo weapons (though you can upgrade to beams if you want) and in place are just lots and lots of guns.  Broadsides, turrets and fixed forward firing. For single small ship, the Frigate has a shocking about of weaponry.

 

She’s a gun boat, pure and simple.  She runs into the enemy at full speed, gets in close amongst an enemy formation, and opens fire in all directions; she was built to swarm the enemy.  Nice big formations, racing into an enemy and attacking as soon as possible.

 

She can happily take on any other enemy small craft, but however, she does have some deadly enemies.  As Meatshield points out, like most small craft is very vulnerable to mines.  Likewise, whilst powerful, her guns are short ranged and are just normal primary weapons without upgrades.

 

Like some other ships in the Terran arsenal, the Missionary is a prime candidate for shunt attacks; jumping in at an opportune moment and using her guns advantage to full effect.

 

In comparison to the pilgrim, the missionary really only does one thing.  Fortunately, it does that one thing very well.

 

 

 

 

 

Guardian / Squire:

 

“The guardians point defense turrets should deal with the threat!”

 

Often times you’ll find it’s your opponent who needs lots of PD fire as it’ll be you firing lots of torpedoes his way.  But when facing an enemy who favours torpedoes themselves, or even worse, multiple SRS wings, your need yourself some Guardian/Squires.

 

At first glance the Guardian doesn’t seem that special; looks like a very standard and basic escort.  But look a little closer?  Do you see it?  Yes…that’s a shield.  Only one, but a shield none the less.  Unlike other escorts, the Guardian doesn’t tend to explode quite as quickly when the enemy start targeting it with their own small craft.  It gives it just that little extra chance of surviving and frustrating an opponent sending in attack wings or torpedo strikes.

 

She’s also a good price, good PD and good speed.  Basic she might be, but she does exactly what she’s supposed to; defends your larger craft from torpedoes and SRS.  Keeping them fighting for longer.

 

And that's it all.  Comments and suggestions welcome.

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Excellent post!

Couple of things:

In the section about boarding, are should be aren't. At the moment the first sentence implies we are good at boarding.

The Tyrant's Projector is self only, it doesn't cover other ships, a purely selfish upgrade. Only the Aegis and Palisade project a bubble that other ships can enjoy.

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Personaly i find the Tyrant a poor solo teir 1. I also find it having RB 4 guns silly as Terrans should stick to the 30/32" range limit for their ships. Bumping the Tyrants AD by +1 in RB 3 for fore and turret would have been fine and keep it inline with Terran combat limits while reinforcing it's roll as a standoff support/Command ship.

 

I also find the "Heavy Cruiser" out of place within the Terran fleet as it is honestly just a Hawker copycat or actually their Heavy Cruiser and the excuse of not wanting to just make a bumped up cruiser silly as 4/6 Core fleets have just that. They could have easily gave it +1PD, +1 DR or CR and went the way of a Tyrant predecessor.

Flipped the RB 1 and 3 guns of a cruiser creating a standoff variant or heavy cruiser while giving it Torps(any) 6/6/7/0.

This would make the heavy perform completlly different rolls to the cruisers while still remaining compatable to mix squadrons and give it that RB 2/3 fighter feel that the Tyrant has.

 

Aegis needs a MN 3.... not using it untill it gets it. 50pts one gun no thanks only usefull at 2k pts anyway and even then shielded enemys can use it agains me. No thanks.

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Any possibility someone could have a shot at writing up the new ships and, as I've seen in other tactica pages, a summary of how to tailor tactics against specific races? For example, how to best set up a Terran fleet to combat Dindrenzi or Directorate strengths?

This is really useful and it'd be good to see it expanded!

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Wayfarers: 

 

In yet another case of Terrans sucking at fleet classification convention (heavy cruisers that are actually gunships, a dreadnought that is actually a super-battleship, a pocket battleship that somehow ended up being a battle-cruiser, and of course, the "torpedo destroyer"...), the Wayfarer fits the role of corvette in the Terran Alliance fleet while being called a "light frigate". There is nothing light about this "light frigate" aside from DR3 and a distinct lack of torpedoes. It is fast, has the same broadside batteries as an Armsmen frigate, still gets a shield and on top of that, gets Sector Shielding. Because 2 shields on a frigate that doesn't require you to sacrifice speed and a TAC slot LOL!

 

These little gits are the bane of anything called a "destroyer", due to being hard to hit for nearly all capital ships, and their ridiculous (for Terrans anyway) speed. If your opponent doesn't bring a squadron of destroyers, then the Wayfarers can sit back with the Armsmen and Teutons in the early game and snipe poor, defenseless frigates with 6AD broadsides at 40". Be sure to use Sector Shielding when enemies are at a distance, makes it more likely that those 2SH from Sectoring will come into play. A squadron size of 3 to 6 ships is large for the Terran small ship squadrons, and gives you a chunkier frigate squadron for the same cost as four Armsmen. You get no hard points or upgrades, because it's only a frigate! 

 

Perseus:

 

The unholy love child of a Teuton and an Isonade, the Perseus is a fast cruiser capable of fighting off other Tier 3s and sometimes Tier 2s. 10"MV means you can get into and out of trouble fairly quickly for a Terran ship with "cruiser" in the designation. Without upgrades and hard points, the Perseus has good firepower with decent beam weapons in most arcs, and 'meh' torpedoes. Oddly for a Terran ship, your fore beam weapons are not limited to Fore Fixed, but instead have Fore Arc. This ship also has Reinforced Fore and Sector Shielding. You use that to drive towards something while making it harder for them to damage you. Then you swing around to point your broadsides at the target and mulch them. 

 

For hard point options you have a choice of +1SH and Shield Projector (Self) for +5pts, or Turrets for +0pts. Take the turrets, they're free! For the upgrade slot, the Perseus gets Weapon Shielding. You take this too, so that enemies will have to kill off your light cruisers to actually degrade their firepower. With the turret weapons fitted, you can sit back and snipe like a scrub in RB3 with 12AD from linking your turrets and broadsides, or 6AD at RB4 if you're afraid of getting your paint scratched. If you give no fraks, you charge at the enemy, using terrain to mask your approach and then unleash a hot 14AD load on your enemy's face in RB2. The torpedoes are still meh. 

 

Harpoons: 

 

You've got to be kidding me, right?  ;)

 

EDIT: I suppose I could do the Harpoon... 

 

The Harpoon does everything that the Artemis can do, but better. Because reasons. It is a torpedo destroyer that can sit back at long range and spam 14AD salvos at anything without an Interceptor escort or buckets of Point Defence (like frigates...). It has the same defences as most Terran Tier 2 ships, with one shield, DR4, CR6, PD3 and HP4. This doesn't matter, because you can kemp bush and still spam your torpedoes which ignore all Line of Sight restrictions. Unlike the Artemis which has to sit in the open like a scrub and fire its stupidly short ranged guns. If the enemy closes on you, you can run, because unlike the Artemis you don't lose your only good defensive MAR if you move. Alternately, if the enemy closes on you, you can fight. This is because the Harpoon actually gets guns that are worth more than a steaming pile of dog *****. In battle, you fire the 14AD torpedo spam at anything that is a Tier 3, just like the Artemis did before it got replaced by the Harpoon. Eventually, you may find that the enemy is in RB3. This is fine, because you still get 12AD of torpedo spam. You can also spam your torpedoes from half way across the damn table. You do not get close to the enemy, if you do you will be a boarding magnet because of your crappy AP1. 

 

For the hard point options, you get +1SH and Shield Projector (Self) for +5pts, or Turret Weapons for +5pts. For upgrades you get a choice of either Stealth Systems (if you want to be sneaky Hobbitses) or Torpedo Spook (if you give no fraks about enemy Point Defence) for +10pts, and the choice between Decimator Warheads or Nuclear Torpedoes for +5pts. The only thing you don't get is Weapon Shielding, which is fine because the poor old Artemis never got it either. If you want to hunt frigates and corvettes, you take Nuclear Torpedoes for more inferno, Stealth Systems and +1SH and Shield Projector (Self). If you intend to take on Tier 2s and make carrier drivers cry, you take Decimator Warheads, Torpedo Spook and Turrets. Now go out there, and crush frigates until someone brings those stupid OP Works Raptor Torpedo Cruisers with their 15AD at all ranges torpedo spam and rips you a new one... 

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Fantastic post!

How do the Hawker ships fit in with the Terrans?  To me (who hasn't played in forever) it seems like the Hawker ships kind of provide variations on the terrain theme.  The Excelsior seems like the old Razorthorn that I used to know in V1, and the Resolute looks kind of like a budget Templar.  

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On 14/07/2016 at 7:17 AM, Endgame said:

Fantastic post!

How do the Hawker ships fit in with the Terrans?  To me (who hasn't played in forever) it seems like the Hawker ships kind of provide variations on the terrain theme.  The Excelsior seems like the old Razorthorn that I used to know in V1, and the Resolute looks kind of like a budget Templar.  

In my opinion, based on my very few games total, the Hawker ships are like Heavy versions of whatever class they claim to be. But unlike the Terran Heavy Cruiser, that ups the weapons but leaves the durability at CA levels, and thus never makes it across the table, Hawker ships have average firepower for the class they claim to be, but the durability of like half a class up. Resolutes don't have the firepower of a Templar, but they've got durability in spades, and that pattern holds true for the rest of the range. The Regent is almost a pocket battlecarrier, and I'll be interested to see how it stacks up against out new battlecarrier, once we have rules for it. Added to that, the direct-fire nukes can really come in handy, as long as you're willing to accept that you can't link with your broadsides when trying for a Coherence effect. Arguably the best place for nukes is on a Regent with Resolute escorts, as they can throw out a pretty lethal attack that can easily crit enemy Mediums. The Cyberweapons can really be useful, too, although in a different way than the Directorate usually uses them - take out the enemy PD, then salvo torps from the entire fleet into the juicy new target!

One thing I'm disappointed in though, is that the Ops Centre upgrades on both the Excelsior and Regent are completely useless unless they're the Flagship, and they can't be the flagship in a combined Terran/Hawker fleet - only if the Hawker fleet is the centre of a Support fleet.

---

So now that Tyrants can take two Wayfarers with them, are people using it more? I've found it seems to have bumped my Tyrant's guns up a tier, almost. Where before the Tyrant could destroy Mediums, but against things in its own weight class relied more on the durability of three shields and Shield Projector, with two Wayfarers along for the ride she's winning gun duels! I'm thinking of ordering two Wayfarers from Spartan when they appear in the store for the sole purpose of battleship escorts!

As for the other accompaniment changes wrought by the latest Fleet rules, I don't think the ability to put Perseus' with Ares is that much of a help, as they'll be giving up the same battlelog as Templars, but that's just a gut feeling - I haven't run it, yet. Bering able to bring a Harpoon with a single Marshall could really help in Patrol games, but in larger games I'd want to bring the second Marshall, personally. The real question is though, does the ability to bring an Aegis with Templars change things to the point that a second shield is a better pick than +1HP? Yeah, you have to pay for the Aegis, but now you've got two shields on a 3+, that are much more likely to actually do something substantive towards the cruiser's survival! Obviously if you could have both the +1HP and the +1SH it'd be even better, but do two shields on a 3+ - which statistically is very close to an increase of 2 to the DR and to the first time DR (later DRs are increased by 2, but only 2 - it's after multiplication, not before) - beat out the +1HP, for doublecrit survival?.

 

EDIT: Also, just noticed - no Solar or Horizon tactica? I know they're somewhat blunt instruments, but for the sake of completion, if nothing else?

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If the discussion is about Terran tactics, I would like to write about a few things concerning the reinforcement models.

 

At full squadron sizes the Wayfarer Light Frigate group costs the same as the Armsmen Frigate group.  The Wayfarer drops the torpedoes and retains the same beam broadsides, but due to being two models larger the squadron shifts it's primary focus rather than simply losing damage potential.  The Armsmen can still deliver more potential damage so long as torpedo attacks aren't shut down.  The Wayfarers can deliver more direct fire potential, and due to the minimum floor of adding 1 AD per model to a linked attack, they are effective beam RB 4 snipers.  Which is to say that a full squadron of Wayfarers always fires with a minimum of 6 AD at a target, even through impeded situations such as intervening cover or cloaking up to 40 inches away.

While they lose a point of DR compared to an Armsmen, they gain sector shielding which helps a cheap, high model count squadron survive at range when sniping.  If in cover, using sector shields, and alongside Interceptors there is little an enemy admiral can do to easily remove these T3 smalls from the field at  approximately 30-40 inches.  Wayfarer numbers may not necessarily give them an advantage in a brawl over Armsmen, but issues such as SRS in general do not reduce the Wayfarer's damage potential.

Additionally Wayfarers have a preferred beam RB 2, which at worst keeps them in roughly the same effective range band as the enemy T3; and at best means they have a range advantage over their T3 counterparts.  When firing at enemy frigates in RB 2 the Wayfarers are preferentially going to fire individually or in pairs given their large squadron size, and depending on how hot your dice are.  Really the Wayfarers are well suited for being the Terran's T3 sniper squadron given their small ship size and ability to use direct fire effectively through impediment.

Once this sniper squadron is closed upon it still has fangs even with squadron losses, and if protected well a 14 AD attack is threatening to anyone's rear arc.  Providing the juicier T3 targets were removed first, preferably.  Wayfarer squadrons do not replace the murder a shunted missionary squadron can do, but instead emphasize on the field T3 sniping potential which opens up into a more dangerous threat once the distance is closed.  Although the Wayfarer can also effectively plink shots away at T2 ships, their size makes them a prime clean up crew for enemy T3.

 

Perseus LIght Cruisers are an interesting choice, because you cannot forget that they remain capital ships.  When fighting enemy T3 the Perseus suffers the same problems with difficult and elusive target that T2 and T1 ships suffer.  A cheap Perseus squadron with turrets runs you the same 120 points as the non-Missionary T3 squadrons Terrans typically favor.  Given the turret weapon system, Perseus begin to act like an upgraded Wayfarer squadron which preferably targets enemy T2 or T1 models.  Their durability is somewhat questionable, they only gain a point of DR, CR, HP, and PD per model compared to twice the number of Wayfarer models.  While the reinforced fore is certainly useful to have, and the Perseus is able to survive a critical hit, the effective beam weapons use broadside arcs on the model and double degradation is a thing which happens.

The upside over Wayfarers is that the squadron is capable of focusing to deliver 12 AD attacks at beam RB 3.  Given the dirt cheap price of the squadron this is significant given the Perseus' range and speed.  Within beam RB 2 the Perseus slides up to an even 14 AD, so this squadron would probably prefer to remain at RB 3 with sectored shielding, and using whatever cover possible, to snipe away at enemy T2 or T1 models.  That isn't to say this squadron cannot close the distance, but the Perseus' comparative advantages evaporate rather quickly as the distance closes.

Given the problem with having a capital size, and thus disadvantaged, T3 in a battle fleet which also does not have difficult target; this is not a squadron I would advise for bringing unless you wanted to do some cheap capital model aft arc hunting at beam RB 3.  The fore arc provides some extra plinking potential when in or under beam RB 2, but remains rather weak and with a poor ability to target frigates.  An advantage the Perseus has over the Wayfarer is the additional torpedo weapon system, but again this excels primarily against targets without strong PD coverage.

Honestly, the Perseus seems like a more appropriate substitution for the Armsmen against cruiser sized targets, and more so if you want to keep this squadron at range and flank with it.  I'd say the Perseus probably operates better at a patrol fleet level, to add in an additional cheap activation which can threaten and mob up against an enemy fleet.

 

Edit:  Bleh, referred to Arsmen models as Arsman incorrectly.

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4 hours ago, Dr_Vector said:

Perseus LIght Cruisers are an interesting choice, because you cannot forget that they remain capital ships.  When fighting enemy T3 the Perseus suffers the same problems with difficult and elusive target that T2 and T1 ships suffer.  A cheap Perseus squadron with turrets runs you the same 120 points as the non-Missionary T3 squadrons Terrans typically favor.  Given the turret weapon system, Perseus begin to act like an upgraded Wayfarer squadron which preferably targets enemy T2 or T1 models.  Their durability is somewhat questionable, they only gain a point of DR, CR, HP, and PD per model compared to twice the number of Wayfarer models.  While the reinforced fore is certainly useful to have, and the Perseus is able to survive a critical hit, the effective beam weapons use broadside arcs on the model and double degradation is a thing which happens.

 

Weapon Shielding is a good buy on the Perseus. Yes, it makes them more expensive, but if you're running turrets it's essential for avoiding double degradation issues. My standard Perseus squadron build has three ships with Turrets and Weapon Shielding. They are deadly, hated and feared by my opponents. Yes, they are feared by my opponents. The reason why is psychology. 

Perseus in a Battle Fleet or larger games is worth the same amount of Battle Log points as a squadron of Armsmen. Ergo, if you want to win on points, there are probably bigger fish to fry. Until the three Perseus light cruisers get into range and start dealing 12AD salvos at RB3, then 14AD salvos at RB2. Then they start putting critical hits on cruisers, destroyers, heavy cruisers, gunships, shunt cruisers or dreadnoughts. All of a sudden, 135pts of light cruiser shoots up the priority chain to the top.

They will either be ignored, or focused down and eliminated. And a Perseus with Weapon Shielding and Turrets has to be eliminated. It's no good just throwing a HP here, or a critical hit there. I don't care, 1HP doesn't matter because I have Weapon Shielding. 2HP doesn't matter, because I have Weapon Shielding and I've lost just 1AD from my direct fire weapons. 

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Weapon shielding is rather iffy for me on Perseus as their main attraction is the cheap cost for the impact they can bring to the field.  It's not the worst option, but 15 points is still the difference between a Tyrant with or without 3 Interceptors as an example.  It really would depend on what your fleet composition is as to whether or not the weapon shielding for the Perseus group is a priority or not.

You can't reduce weapon AD below 1 through damage, in addition to impeding terrain or the like, so there are only two important range bands affected.  At best the weapon shielding preserves 1 AD before the model is destroyed, which is moderately significant considering the low starting AD value to begin with.  The Perseus isn't hard to damage, and this bonus could potentially come into play quickly, the problem with the squadron upgrade is how much actual effect these points will generate over time.

A single AD drop turns a 12 AD RB 3 attack into 11 AD, and a two AD drop turns that into a 10 AD attack.  For comparison in RB 2 the 14 AD attack drops to 13 and 12 respectively.  The respective dips don't impress upon me any vital nature of weapon shielding for Perseus squadrons.  It is a nice bonus, certainly, but it also only matters so long as the model remains on the field.  The Perseus is not a particularly robust model, attacks that would leave a Cruiser limping with 1 HP would finish a Perseus regardless of weapon shielding.

Take an example of two models, one with a single HP remaining.  Without weapon shielding they can deliver at best 7, 8, 7, and 4 linked AD at their respectively increasing range bands.  With weapon shielding they deliver 8, 9, 8, and 4 linked AD at their respectively increasing range bands.  I can understand in general the value of reducing the drop of AD with weapon shielding, but unless the enemy prefers damage to destruction then weapon shielding has a rather minimal effect for a squadron with low survival potential.  It doesn't make the Perseus more durable under fire, nor provide a benefit if they are ignored.  I feel like it's something of a placebo effect, and would personally spend those points elsewhere in many cases.

 

Edit:  I think the issue mainly is that the Perseus simply doesn't last long enough for the problem of double degradation to really impact the squadron.  Especially compared to other much more durable models which suffer greatly compared.  It becomes more pronounced when a squadron has few or only a singular model, rather than spreading double degradation over multiple low value models.

Also, I feel double degradation is more serious in the case of individual attacks for the Perseus, which is somewhat ironic for the model.  The Perseus doesn't have particularly noteworthy individual attacks against enemy Cruisers, and already suffers from issues with Difficult Target since it is still a Capital class ship.  This especially makes Perseus suffer when fighting T3 squadrons, wherein I find the irony.  Terra help you if you get into a fight with Isonades using DT.  At least Wayfarers would ignore the DT MAR.

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The Perseus seems like a better replacement for your standard teuton / hermes / sentinel squadron than for your typical Pilgrim squadron.  Point for point with turrets, the Perseus is more efficient in dealing damage than the Teuton and its slightly more durable, as a double crit destroys both, but the Perseus has the reinforced fore.  Is a straight swap in a patrol fleet, as the Perseus is a T2 at that point level.  In a battle fleet where it is a T3 you can squeeze in points efficient firepower into your tier 3 allotment fairly economically.  Such as:

3x Perseus w/ Turrets 120
3x Perseus w/ Turrets 120
4x Missonary 100
6x Wayfarer 120

460 points gets you 4 activations and some pretty decent budget firepower.  You still have to fill your T2, but you could do that with 1 CA squadron, leaving you plenty of room for T1.

For Weapon Shielding, I can see both sides, but for now I'm going to tend toward going without, as the firepower drop with 1 damage isn't terrible, and I'll probably consider trying to FSD out the squad if all the models have taken 2 damage.

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I can definitely see what you're pointing out, but I'd keep in mind that the Teuton squadrons can take a +1 HP upgrade.  While it is my personal preference, I think the hull point upgrade definitively makes the Teutons difficult to remove from the table.  This also makes weapon shielding much more attractive, provides an Aegis accompaniment more rolls to affect, and overall does what I think Teutons do best.  Specifically, put a fair chunk of hull points points on the field which can reliably soak up enemy activations to remove.

I feel the Teuton's main threat isn't their firepower, but instead their tenacity in staying on the board for the cost.  Well, that and they're another nice way to get an Aegis on the field.  Also, the comparison of Perseus to Armsmen feels more appropriate given the Perseus is competing for T3 slots in everything aside from Patrol Fleet battles.

I feel the T3 models are in a relatively good place so far, given that Missionaries are shunt (or flank) bombs and Armsmen provide what is now something of a baseline T3 for the Terrans.  Unfortunately I'm not sure if Armsmen are really worthwhile considering what they bring comparatively.  The large Wayfarer squadron does enemy T3 removal at all ranges quite well and while impeded at that.  The Perseus definitely has issues dealing with T3, but is certainly better at hanging with the other capital ships.

The Armsmen can dish out a few decent shots when including the torpedo system to overwhelm an unprotected T3 squadron; but their problem in remaining relevant lies in enemy fleet meta.  I'd consider Armsmen having an edge over Wayfarers when dealing with Capital ships, but again the fleet meta problem, rather PD Mountain, raises its' ugly head.  In the end it feels like the poor Armsmen are getting replaced by the reinforcements due to poor expectations for torpedoes in general, without even mentioning the diminishing torpedo AD as the RB decreases.

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The problem with the Teuton Squadrons with +1 HP and Weapon Shielding is you just drastically increased the cost per model without increasing the firepower at all.  If you toss beams into the mix, you pickup a little extra range and some teeth at RB1, but at the cost of being much less efficient point for point than, say, Templars / Hauberks or turreted Harpoons.  Without upgrades the Teutons are actually a pretty good bargain when it comes to firepower, but once you get them to 65+ points each, other options seem to present themselves are better choices.  

Given we have the option to bring an Aegis with a Teuton squadron, my current thinking is that should be the first upgrade option.  You increase the firepower per point of the squad, and add 4 HPs to the squad for essentially the same points as adding weapon shielding and 3HPs to the squad (not to mention you increase the effectiveness of the shields across the fleet).  Beams make sense here as well for linked firepower, but I'd stay away from other upgrades until you've figured out the rest of your fleet.  If you have 30 points left when you're done, toss the extra HP on the Teutons, otherwise, leave it off.    

 

 

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The Perseus is actually more durable than the Teuton, having Reinforced Fore means it takes 14 successes to Double Crit a Perseus from the front, instead of 12 for the Teuton (side note, it's why I run +1HP Teutons, instead of +1SH Teutons. My shield rolls are 90% fails pretty much 100% of the time...). Yes, from the front our CL is tougher than our CA unless you give the CA an extra Hull Point... 

As for the cost of Weapon Shielding, I usually find the 15pts spare by taking Nuclear Torpedoes off the Teutons. In my experience Nuclear Torpedoes only really work on ships that also have Torpedo Spook (so Harpoon and Marshal then...). So 15pts spent on making my Perseus hit harder for longer is a better buy in my opinion than 15pts of firecrackers. 

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Theres a little more BL loss for a destroyed Teuton +Aegis Squadron. Though in a way it obviously increases the effectiveness of said squadron, at cost. So if you're going solo T2 option (Not a bad one as Perseus goes into T3 at BF level) then it's a 5 BL loss squadron but with 1.5x T2 effectiveness. Rather than 8 BL loss for two squadrons or 9 if you have an Aegis with a second Teuton Squad

Disorder checks for these two reinforced Teuton Squad's are still happening after a loss of 2x units, but I suppose the whole is greater than a 3Teuton squad so it will take longer to get to that 50% stage.

Interesting stuff. Playing against Terrans - A 4 ship Reinforced + up hulled Teuton squad giving me just 5 BL for destruction plus a 2BL for destruction Perseus squad (whatever their upgrades) is a General Ulysses Grant nightmare!

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22 minutes ago, DanSG-19 said:

The Perseus is actually more durable than the Teuton, having Reinforced Fore means it takes 14 successes to Double Crit a Perseus from the front, instead of 12 for the Teuton (side note, it's why I run +1HP Teutons, instead of +1SH Teutons. My shield rolls are 90% fails pretty much 100% of the time...). Yes, from the front our CL is tougher than our CA unless you give the CA an extra Hull Point... 

As for the cost of Weapon Shielding, I usually find the 15pts spare by taking Nuclear Torpedoes off the Teutons. In my experience Nuclear Torpedoes only really work on ships that also have Torpedo Spook (so Harpoon and Marshal then...). So 15pts spent on making my Perseus hit harder for longer is a better buy in my opinion than 15pts of firecrackers. 

I don't think I'd recommend nukes on the Teutons either, as I concur with your observation about nukes working best with Spook.  The points spent on Weapon Shielding can be used to get more guns in your list - weapon shielding on a Perseus squadron is essentially a Wayfarer.  If you frequently end up with 2 damage on a Perseus, shielding is probably a good upgrade.  If its 1 damage and then dead, I'm thinking you'd probably be better off using the points to buy extra wayfarers, which also add firepower to your list and require additional shots to remove.

 

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IMHO, weapon shielding in these cases are a luxury you pay for if you have the extra fleet points.  At least waiting until you cannot afford to bring additional models or SRS to the fleet.  Still I think there is more merit in upgrading Teutons with +1 HP rather than Perseus, it costs the same 15 fleet point price if you upgrade either squadron.

The reinforced fore is good on a Perseus, I won't say it isn't, but the significant outbound fire from the Perseus come from the broadside arcs.  The extra protection only applies to a singular arc which is not the same arc you want to be firing out of.  So the reinforced fore is nice, but you can't rely on it protecting you from return fire when you open up with broadsides.  It can certainly have uses when the enemy is split up, or when diving in, but even then it won't provide universal protection and improved durability.

A Perseus squadron could be more durable, especially for the price, than a Teuton squadron; but that requires a lot of factors in the battle going your way and mistakes made on your enemy's part.

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I did have to ask, back in the day when the Perseus first showed up why it had Reinforced Fore instead of Reinforced P/S, considering the bulk of the firepower is on the sides. The answer I got was that Reinforced Fore is there to protect the Perseus on the way into a fight in the early game. It's actually quite noticeable having the Reinforced Fore, as RB3 and RB4 attacks from just about anything won't Double Crit the Perseus most of the time. Same can't be said for my Teutons. They've gone pop from frigates throwing 6AD at them and getting a Double Crit before. After that happened multiple times, I went from +1SH Hardpoints to +1HP Hard Points on nearly every cruiser in the fleet. From my experience with using the Perseus and the Teuton, point for point, the Perseus is the better cruiser, unless you give the Teuton the extra hull point. Then it's just about even. 

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Question: Has anyone had any success with Decimator-Spook Harpoons, and combining them with Nuke Tuetons? Scramble the PD with the Harpoons, then slam into them with Nukes from the Tuetons. Means you need to take both and they need to be attacking the same target, though.

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I've tried it with the Marshal Battle Cruisers, which also get Decimator Spook Torpedoes. It can work, that said, it can be countered with combat spacing if your opponent knows that nukes may be incoming. Harpoons would be a cheaper way to get Decimator Spook Torpedoes, but they lack the Countermeasures MAR which the Marshals enjoy. 

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They've gone pop from frigates throwing 6AD at them and getting a Double Crit before. After that happened multiple times, I went from +1SH Hardpoints to +1HP Hard Points on nearly every cruiser in the fleet. From my experience with using the Perseus and the Teuton, point for point, the Perseus is the better cruiser, unless you give the Teuton the extra hull point. Then it's just about even. 

 

What other upgrades do you uses on the Teutons besides the +1 HP. or are you just running them flat out at 60 points each with +1 HP?

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That is some really bad luck, the odds of 6 AD performing 12 hits on a reliable basis is low, really low.  That's the kind of performance that spits on odds and throws balance right out the window into the dumpster on trash day as the truck is literally lifting the bin to empty into the truck bed.  While I can understand keeping Perseus on the field when under fire, they're just soaking damage when they could've been dealing damage on the flip side of the coin.  Perseus will survive potential double critical better than a Teuton, true, but a critical and regular hit requires less luck with your dice overall.  So the end result is something of a wash unless your opponent is rolling some seriously hot dice, and that becomes suspect when you get reliable results.

 

While I enjoy the mixing of Decimator, Torpedo Spook, and Countermeasures MAR onto a model, the Countermeasures only come into play within 8 inches of a Marshall.  Unless you're shunt bombing that squadron in, those MARs are a tricky combination to pull off as the enemy will have the time and opportunity to deal with it.  Of course it's not bad to have if they try to shunt bomb you, on the flip side of the coin.

My biggest concern is that trying to leverage Countermeasures to improve Nuke results relies on a relatively soft, and still all around expensive, T1 model being within 8 inches as a linchpin to pull this trick off.  Regardless, mixing Decimator with Torpedo Spook can be handy by itself and Countermeasures is a 5 point after purchase pick up if you commit to bringing a Marshall.  I feel this is more of a defensive pick to protect against close range aggression on the Marshall, or a mid to late game target of opportunity swoop in maneuver.

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