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Grav guns/Tarakians balance issue. Opinions?

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Hey all,

 

I'm of the opinion that Grav guns, or at least the faction that relies on them (The Tarakians), should be revised. After having played many games against the Tarakians who primarily use these weapons, I feel like both are in dire need of some redressing.

 

Grav Guns:

My problem with Grav Guns is they they ignore almost all the things that balance out other weapons systems. They suffer no Firepower degradation (They are Indirect weapons), ignore shields, ignore LoS, and can push other vessels around, often times instantly killing them when pushing them into a planet or some such. I propose that they should be Direct fire weapons, or at least suffer the appropriate Firepower degradation loss. 

 

Tarakians:

I feel that the Tarakian list has some balancing issues, mostly due to their  incredibly cheap cruiser (Sulan), and a Ganak BB (which is essentially an incredibly cheap dreadnought). Both of these vessels are priced much too low for the hitting and staying power they exert on the battle.

 

For example-

Sulan cruisers have 5 HP, weapons that are all Indirect (Grav and Torp) meaning that they can fire with all weapons at full effect until they are destroyed. Given the fact that you can field 4 in a squadron as opposed to 3 like most cruiser squadrons, makes them that much more potent. A 60 pt price tag makes them the best bang for your buck in the game (In my opinion), and they can field multiple units. While their stats are relatively average,(4CP, 3 PD 2 AD, TL 1, 1 Sh), their firepower is obscene (Sulan's can kick out Linked 12 AD Torps Fore, 12 AD Torps P/S, and up to 15AD Grav Forward fixed), especially given that NONE of that firepower drops as they suffer damage during a game. I propose that their number should be reduced from 4 to 3 which would at least counter some of their potency. Baring that, a possible price increase of 10-15pts each would probably suffice as well.

 

Has anyone else run into this balance issue? I figured i'd bring the subject up on the community boards to see what others think on the matter. Opinions/comments/agree/disagree, i'd just like to see it discussed a bit.

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Yeah they are hard enemys. But, apart from the BB, they have onpy fore weapons. So when you are closing in, you should be able to out gun them.

The have alot of Torpedos, but if the enemy has some interceptors those torps are worth nothing. So I dont think that the cruisers are to cheap. The BB on the otber hand is a hard nut to crack and has alot of firepower...

But thats just on the paper, I havent played with or against them

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I have yet to play against Tarakians, but I know a lot of guys around here lost all games with them and really struggle. I can definitely see why, but I don't see them (so far) that crazy. What I think is broken in their stats are the AD of gravitational weapons at RB3 and RB4. They have the best FSA weapon and together they throw out at these ranges same or even more AD than some Destroyers....and that's seriously wrong. If I look at the new Directorate Turmoil with fore gravitational weapons I instatly see it is balanced around working only in pairs and having shitty long range firepower, also it can't push ships around.

 

Edit: Sulan with 5 torps in all directions is really insane...especially for the price and also having those crazy grav guns.

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@nobody1988, no "fore" is not the ideal place to be against Tarakians I assure you.  :)

 

There are a few candidates for "possibly undercosted" units in the game, IMHO, and the Sulan cruiser is one of them.   However, the real issue IMHO isn't Grav, and it's not squads of 4.   Shoot, if Sulans had a max squad size of 3 I would just play 3 squads for a total of 9 (not 8) and your headache would be even worse! 

 

The issue is the stat line of the Sulan which is ideal for 60 points, plus it has great weapons from 1-48" in all arcs that never degrade with damage.  Ever.  

 

Is the Sulan broken?  I don't think so, but it is so strong against so many, with only a couple weaknesses: SRS and Mines.   More specifically mines right the f___ on top of the Sulans.   :D    If you have neither, you're gonna have troubles.   Soft counters such as Stealth Systems and Difficult Target only mitigate the Sulan's barrage of Grav and Torps. 

 

Shunt Entry is an excellent tactic against Tarakians I think.  Whatever can't fit in your SRS bubble place into reserve and drop behind the Tarakians.

 

What makes the Tarakian Ganak so great is the SRS it can carry to protect the Sulan, without which the Sulan would be as vulnerable to Torps as their opponents might be.  Oh and it has 10 HP and 3 SH so it's a brick basically.

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I was played both as Tarakians and aganist them, they are tough, but have some weeknesses. (On 16-20" they are outgunned because most enemies has more possible arc to fire, they are ridicully weak aganist boarding.)

I disagree that grav weapons are too strong take into account that:

1) graw weapons have much less AD than other systems 9 AD on Battleship is a weapon worth heavy cruiser not Battleship. Compare with Conqeror he must lose 7 HP to degrade its weapons to 9 AD.

2) they are fore fixed this mean that have very limited arc of fire

3) Sulan are impresive - right, but their main effective weapon (torpedoes in most case at early round are not effective) can fire only one target. When I compare this with Xelocian cruisers with 3 efective arc, better range, energy transfer, 2 shields and optional corrosive Sulan don't still look 'that'strong. To get 4 Sulan you must spent 240 for 270 I can take 3 Hunters;) Moreover even Relthoza Assassin with corrosive on 3 to 3 fight have good chance to win (especially when shunted).

4) About using Ganak as Dreadgnought try this aganist Dindrenzi Retribution, Xelocian Hulaka or even Rethloza Apex;)

About Torpedoes I agree that they can be good weapon aganist Tarakians when I use RNS they spooks are very effective.

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And i think thats part of the 'balance' for the Sulan is that the weapons are fore fixed and 8" range bands 10 AD out to 32" is a threat but not a huge threat as thats only 8 hits (based on someone elses math of 0.8 hits per dice) yes thats enough to crit any cruiser or damage a battleship and those are some nasty torps but as stated you get pd and interceptors works raptor has tons of torps too so sadly you will have to be ready for them, don't forget bombers even add PD within 4"

 

but on the same vein most cruiser squadrons have the firepower to crit a cruiser or damage a battleship for the same points: Dindrenzi 16 AD 4/8 no shields , aquans 15AD with 5/6 1 shield and DT... both ships are faster and have firepower in more than one arc but yes, they do degrade and require LOS but using dindrenzi tactics (which will hurt if you get pushed off the table) the tarakins can at best close to 30 inches first turn, then the dindrenzi are in optimal range bands... a little bit of list tailoring or balling up is likely in order but against many scenarios or factions this is true, for example look at the AP values, capture the station would be a real struggle and with rather low CP they are vulnerable to boarding and FSA is about to get some more boarding ships!

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I will toss my hat into this ring as well since I own tarakians and have also played against them.

 

1) Grav weapons are effective - but also only one squad makes them effective. If you are getting killed by the Ganak battleship grav gun - burn your opponents dice :D That being said its our mediums that really have grav gun effectivness - but here in lies the problem. We are 4/6 with one shield... thats it. Many times I have lost 1-2 mediums before I even get in effective range (and lets not even talk about spook or nuke torpedoes). Target priority should always be the medium ships if you are facing a tarakian list, and once you blow up 1-2 of them they are really reduced in effectiveness (fish for two crits and then one poke kills them). If you are worried about our torpedoes - take interceptors. Remember, you know the list your playing before you play the list. 

 

2) Tarakian price I feel is not really a problem (allow me to explain). In a typical 1000 tournament list that I fielded, I had 2 groups of 4 mediums, 2 groups of 4 smalls, and one large battleship.... thats it. No extra tricks, no cloak, no nothing. One medium squad got the ass handed to them by a squad of terran destroyers, and again once you lose one or two in a squad, your firepower is meh. 

 

3) remeber we are fore FIXED arc on the gravity weapons - so rarely will we see a beautiful shot of fore fixed, for torpedoes, AND staarboard and port torpedoes. Play to that advantage heavily. 

 

Tarakians, like most alliance fleets (with the exception of RSN due to large model variety) are a one trick pony, much like the Ryushi. You know how they work, what they do, and what to target, you will win. (hint - TARGET THE MEDIUMS IGNORE THE GANAK UNTIL THE END!!

 

now that being said if you really want something to complain about - maybe I should play you with my Tarakian/Ryushi Battlecarrier ally list :D

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That also being said (wanted to add one more quickly before lunch duty :D) The squad of 4 might also be the problem here - or solution. Think of the Sorylian cruiser - their stats are no better then most cruisers but the fact that their are 4 in a squad makes them one of the best mediums in the game. So keep that in mind. 

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I think the Tarakians are as strong as they are in the Grav Gun department, simply to deal with the Overseers that will likely be showing up later on. Grav is the only weapon in Firestorm that will ignore those 10 or so shield dice, or any other defence. 

 

Against everyone else, they are a pain in the arse on paper (I've only had to endure the Directorate grav boats so far, and they were tough to deal with, but I am planning on adding Tarakians to my Terran fleet for my alien allies fix that's cheaper than the Aquan Battlestar I have currently), but they sort of have the same weakness as the Dindrenzi with that main Gravity Weapon. Fore Fixed. If there is one thing you don't do in Firestorm Armada, it is fly in front of ANYTHING that has Fore Fixed as its weapon arc. My Apollos have derped many a Dindrenzi and Directorate squadron with their Fore Fixed nuclear-decimator Derp Cannons. Dindrenzi railguns (of any size) are the bane of my Teutons. Same goes for the Tarakians. Don't sit anywhere near the front of a Tarakian ship, you'll probably have an easier time of it dealing with their torpedoes than their gravity guns. 

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Just wanted to point out no one is complaining about the Tarakian Frigates...

I can't really add much else; BigBen has yet to win a game vs my Dindrenzi, because I'm pretty much his Kryptonite: strong, long range weapons (8" vs 12"), high Crit Rating, and no fancy defenses he can bypass. Target priority one is to destroy one model from each Cruiser squad. As long as I can do that before they hit RB2 (16") I'll be fine.

I basically ignore the Ganak, and try to stay out of its side arcs; those are strong Broadsides.

While they have a lot of torps, they aren't very strong. Even my meh PD is usually enough to stop them. This means Tarakians are really good late game, but don't have much early game... The opposite of Dindrenzi.

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Thanks for all the input, all of it is very relevant. I want to add that I dont always lose against the Tarakians, I just think they and the Grav weapons can be more balanced. While they are basically a one trick pony, its a helluva big pony!

 

I play Dindrenzi and Relthozan, and my Dindrenzi can often times neuter/destroy a squadron of Sulans within two-three rounds. However, sometimes it takes all the firepower of my fleet (2 squadrons of Cruisers, 1 squadron of HCs, Praetorian BB and 3 Hammer Frigates squadrons (2 In reserve) concentrating on a single squadron to do that (especially given terrain,bad rolling, etc.). When i play Relthozans, unless i play heavies, its very difficult fighting the Tarakians in general. Stealth is excellent, but I think i'd have to tailor my fleet to fight the the Taraks just to compete with them (Add in a BC squadron for assault, etc). My mediums usually get torn apart or crippled so badly they become useless. My main advantage (Cloaking Fields) is essentially completely negated.

 

Staying out of a Sulan squadrons Fixed Fore armament in most missions (Especially given they have 1"TL), when their weapons ignore LoS and have good range, is basically impossible. So saying that and actually doing it in game, is a whole different matter. You are left with the "Kill the Sulans before they kill you" option, which is not hard for the Drenzi, but is incredibly difficult for the Relthozans who have no Firepower at long range other than Torps.

 

Generally I suppose I may just have to adjust the way i play to fight the Tarakians and try to take advantage of their weaknesses (lack of Mines, low AP). Every game is a learning (if frustrating) experience.

 

Thanks again for all the suggestions/comments:)

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Thanks for all the input, all of it is very relevant. I want to add that I dont always lose against the Tarakians, I just think they and the Grav weapons can be more balanced. While they are basically a one trick pony, its a helluva big pony!

 

I play Dindrenzi and Relthozan, and my Dindrenzi can often times neuter/destroy a squadron of Sulans within two-three rounds. However, sometimes it takes all the firepower of my fleet (2 squadrons of Cruisers, 1 squadron of HCs, Praetorian BB and 3 Hammer Frigates squadrons (2 In reserve) concentrating on a single squadron to do that (especially given terrain,bad rolling, etc.). When i play Relthozans, unless i play heavies, its very difficult fighting the Tarakians in general. Stealth is excellent, but I think i'd have to tailor my fleet to fight the the Taraks just to compete with them (Add in a BC squadron for assault, etc). My mediums usually get torn apart or crippled so badly they become useless. My main advantage (Cloaking Fields) is essentially completely negated.

 

Staying out of a Sulan squadrons Fixed Fore armament in most missions (Especially given they have 1"TL), when their weapons ignore LoS and have good range, is basically impossible. So saying that and actually doing it in game, is a whole different matter. You are left with the "Kill the Sulans before they kill you" option, which is not hard for the Drenzi, but is incredibly difficult for the Relthozans who have no Firepower at long range other than Torps.

 

Generally I suppose I may just have to adjust the way i play to fight the Tarakians and try to take advantage of their weaknesses (lack of Mines, low AP). Every game is a learning (if frustrating) experience.

 

Thanks again for all the suggestions/comments:)

 

I would assume the best Rekthozan options against Tarakians would be a combination of Ambush markers to deploy near the center of the battlefield and shunt matrix to pot shot them in the aft. 

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When i play Relthozans, unless i play heavies, its very difficult fighting the Tarakians in general. Stealth is excellent, but I think i'd have to tailor my fleet to fight the the Taraks just to compete with them (Add in a BC squadron for assault, etc). My mediums usually get torn apart or crippled so badly they become useless. My main advantage (Cloaking Fields) is essentially completely negated.

 

Shunting, carrier with shunt matrix and 2 tokens winth 4 bombers, shunt cruisers (15 AD boarding), heavy cruisers with corrosive, destroyers with Ambush (2) (they can be placed at 8" from enemy at begining of battle, have corrosive and 6 HP) or heavy SRS list should help ;) If you play at Patrol Fleet you can take 3 heavy cruisers with corrovise instead of Battleship;)

 

For me Rethloza main advantage is not cloaking fields. In most battle I disable it (on 20-16") for better AD for corrosive.  For me main advantage of Relthozans is good customizations of fleet options and maneuverability I also like corrosive, self-repair, and stealth.

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My opinion is that Spartans wanted to make them really strong.. (maybe because of the fluff I read about them I dunno..) And I could understand that if the price was right but their are totally cheap for their tricks.  

I completely agree.

 

Shunting Carriers and Cruisers are all great, but they always seem to take up a good points chunk. Also, i feel like none of them can really deliver the heavy blows needed to whittle down the Tarakian mediums. Usually the Tarakians with their high HP can absorb and then counter effectively. Guess i could try them however and see what happens!

 

Maybe a single Shunt cruiser squadron would work, but I have been looking elsewhere, such as the Ba'Kash to solve some of my Tarakian problems. They seem to cover a few bases that  the spiders dance around. 

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I think a shunting Relthoza Heavy Cruiser squad would work wonders.

 

Ambush markers, (hidden deployment) are basically useless in my opinion.  Why would I choose to deploy my squads one per turn AND at only pre-determined locations (that my opponent can avoid/exploit) AND at Full Stop?

 

Note both FAQ ruings please:

 

1. Only reveal ONE hidden setup marker per turn

2. Coming in from hidden setup means you start at full stop, regardless of if you were revealed voluntarily or not

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I think a shunting Relthoza Heavy Cruiser squad would work wonders.

 

Ambush markers, (hidden deployment) are basically useless in my opinion.  Why would I choose to deploy my squads one per turn AND at only pre-determined locations (that my opponent can avoid/exploit) AND at Full Stop?

 

Note both FAQ ruings please:

 

1. Only reveal ONE hidden setup marker per turn

2. Coming in from hidden setup means you start at full stop, regardless of if you were revealed voluntarily or not

 

I think you're underestimating how useful ambush can be.  In our local group often the hidden squad is the first one to be activated in the game taking advantage of the fact that it's deeply engaged to provide cover while the rest of the fleet finishes maneuvering into position.  But ultimately we all use the strategies we're most comfortable with.

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For Relthozans, remember that Stealth Systems still offer protection against indirect weapons. I'm gonna go against the grain and say use standard cruisers. Drives to Max that push past SS range, lay into them with broadsides and mine drive-bys. And remember the Dindrenzi Death Spiral- in theory anyone relying on Fore Fixed is susceptable to it.

It's also worth noting that while it may not be easy to get a Tarakian ship into a state where a capture is possible, the Ganak's self repair cannot help save it from crew loss! That's a big ship that, once it's down some defenses, makes for a really nice prize.

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For Relthozans, remember that Stealth Systems still offer protection against indirect weapons. I'm gonna go against the grain and say use standard cruisers. Drives to Max that push past SS range, lay into them with broadsides and mine drive-bys. And remember the Dindrenzi Death Spiral- in theory anyone relying on Fore Fixed is susceptable to it.

It's also worth noting that while it may not be easy to get a Tarakian ship into a state where a capture is possible, the Ganak's self repair cannot help save it from crew loss! That's a big ship that, once it's down some defenses, makes for a really nice prize.

Yes, my Pathogen have claimed a Ganak. I am told that they are particularly delicious.

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I think a shunting Relthoza Heavy Cruiser squad would work wonders.

Ambush markers, (hidden deployment) are basically useless in my opinion. Why would I choose to deploy my squads one per turn AND at only pre-determined locations (that my opponent can avoid/exploit) AND at Full Stop?

Note both FAQ ruings please:

1. Only reveal ONE hidden setup marker per turn

2. Coming in from hidden setup means you start at full stop, regardless of if you were revealed voluntarily or not

I simply use hidden makers as way to get fast in fire range. They can be placed in 8" on enemy and revealed even in first turn in reserve phaze.

How enemy could avoid that? Remember that makers are placed after enemy deployment. Full stop in not a problem because Manoevrable MAR.

I know that this is suicide mission but with 3 arc 6 HP and corrosive Destroyers probalby get 1 or 2 Sulan before they will he defeared.

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I think Hidden Setup markers really depend on the scenario, and the ship in hidden setup. Maneuverable is a must in my opinion.

 

Sending my men on suicide missions isn't usually a great thing to do given the points swing when your Destroyers pop, but holding up the enemy or forcing them to deal with your forces on an objective might pay dividends. Whatever the case, i feel like they are subjective and situational.

 

Aside from that, I actually usually avoid the Ganak since its a brick and hard to kill, so its interesting to hear otherwise about it. I suppose if the entire Dindrenzi list focused on it for a two turn or so it would be hurting pretty badly.

 

Has anyone really fiddled around with High Energy MAR and stacking Hazard tokens on a target? I've done it once with mixed results.

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The problem with that tactic is it takes a long time for them to matter. Best case, they strip a model of all its crew, which effectively converts Hazard into Corrosive. If you can wait long enough, the ship might implode.

It's more viable against Small Targets, as 0 Crew = Destroyed, instead of useless.

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