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Sebenko

Dreadnought Robots- How to bring one down?

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Okay, so, here's a run down of what I can truthfully describe as the worst win of my Dystopian Wars career.

 

  • First up, I got the objective to kill the commodore, who was on the dreadbot. So obviously I took it, because the alternative, 70%, meant killing the damn thing anyway.
  • My opponent had the kill commodore objective, too.
  • I managed a minor win in the end, my opponent killing my commodore with the dreadbot from RB3 in the second turn and for the rest of the game trying to kill my one remaining kepler, which was hidden in a corner.
  • I took the most bull**** list I've ever taken in DW, and only just won.
  • The damn thing triple crit someting every turn except the first.
  • 8 of the 10 damage done to it was by drones.

 

I'd find something with a high AA value to "run interference" and force a boarding action to get past.

 

Honestly, that suggestion is a waste of time. the dreadbot was inflicting triple critical hits on everything within RB3 of it. It didn't board anything because nothing survived that long.

 

The dreadbot is:

  • Game dominating
  • Totally out of scale for the game
  • Expensive enough that it can't be ignored
  • Tough enough that it takes ******* bull**** 41-drone lists to take down
  • Dangerous enough that it will kill everything it comes into contact with, so it can't be ignored.
  • Not fun to play against. It just walked towards my huddle of models, handing out crits and not caring about damage until it fell over and died.

I disliked the robots before, now I hate them. If I was setting up for a DW game and someone got a dreadnought robot out of the box, I'd pack my stuff up and head to the pub early. Sure, i won, but I have no doubt that I would have done nothing without the 5+ squadrons of drone bombers that managed to hit the thing.

 

Also, having tried out a drone-spam list, I'm going to say that the drone feedback rule is terrible, yet again. With 41 drones, I managed to bomb every squadron on the board, most of them multiple times. I was still throwing multiple full squadrons of drones out at the end of the game. The feedback rule just makes drone engagements take longer than before in a drone spam list.

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Thanks for the report Seb! Interesting, the old guard nasty list meets the new nastyness and wins. Yay covenant... but sounds like a very hollow victory.

At 1k points I do not think the robots should be allowed. This, despite the fact that I have no problems with normal dreads in 1k points.

If a dread bot spits out 3 crits a turn, that is about equivalent to a normal dread. In and of itself, that is not a big problem. Going by your report (and my own vague notions of list building) the points cost makes it an unavoidable target in certain points levels, since prizing an entire enemy fleet is not a likely prospect. I would be quite happy if a note were added to the ORBATS saying that these models, being of immense strategic importance (and rarity) to their respective nations, cannot be used in battles less than 1250 points. Maybe even 1500.

My reasoning is to avoid the escalation problem of "He has a dread bot, so I need one to counter it." which I am sad to see listed in the ways to deal with them.

I will be trying out the Coeus soon, once I can work out a way of transporting/magnetiising the damned thing, to see how it fares, see if my experience ties in with yours.

But on the bright side, I see the KoB and Raj (and, sadly, french) having an easier time against them, since piercing will be of great value in crippling the monsters.

I would say, if you have cause to face such a list again (and I would ask that you do, to get another data set as it were) could you try a different list type? We all know a horrendous drone spam is about the nastiest thing we can summon, but I would be very interested to see/hear your thoughts if you used a more balanced fleet.

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I generally tend to avoid DNs in 1000 point games, mainly because I think that a CoA list doesn't need the brute force, for the most part. Also, I think some of the reputation of DNs from 1.0/1.1 still lingers.

 

The points required to neutralise it were way out of proportion to what it costs, mainly because it can't be productively boarded, and shooting it has no effect until it dies.

 

My first thoughts on a more balanced list is that doing any sort of critical hit to it is out of the window. Only a five-drone bomber squadron can safely and reliably do a critical hit to one. The next step down in CoA special-fun-times brutality, the Kepler-Aristotle won't quite crit it on average (before shields), unless you can get a target painter on the dreadbot. Essentially, I think that if you want to actually kill one without horrendous drone spam, hope for a lot of luck. My (probably incorrect) maths says about 13-14 dice for a single damage, which is not something the CoA get many of. If you want it dead, it means ignoring the entire rest of the enemy fleet, for very little gain. I'll think on this some more, but I don't see many ways to productively deal with one.

 

I will say that I wouldn't mind the robots so much if they were explicitly for exhibition games, and came with a scenario pack designed around them. As a model in a normal list... no, no thanks.

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A model or unit that is 1/3 of the points of the game is going to have a large impact on how the game is focused.  That is always true though, if you took 360 points in corvettes (about 3.5 squads) which is 18 models that would have a dramatic effect on how the game is played, what you could use to counter it and what you couldn't, and some of your units would have a very hard time dealing with them.

 

Considering that it is new it will take some time to get used to how your tactics will have to change to deal with them.  But in following a few of the battle reports it seems like people are managing.

 

Of course having some sort of limit on the size of games they can be taking in would probably help, and that isn't just true for the bots, but also other dreads.  I don't think it would be a bad idea to put some sort of additional limit on list building to keep any one unit from dominating. Like no single unit type can make up more than 20-25% of your list, so at 1000 points you couldn't have more than 200-250 points in any one model type, so no dreads, no 20 corvettes, no double heavy battleships, etc.  That would work for everyone and scale with the game, it would keep any single type from dominating the meta too much.

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  • First up, I got the objective to kill the commodore, who was on the dreadbot. So obviously I took it, because the alternative, 70%, meant killing the damn thing anyway

 

Ever heard of prizing ships? Or TAC cards? :)

You weren't forced to kill him, 70% can be easily reached by other ways. 

 

 

 

The dreadbot is:

  • Game dominating
  • Totally out of scale for the game
  • Expensive enough that it can't be ignored
  • Tough enough that it takes ******* bull**** 41-drone lists to take down
  • Dangerous enough that it will kill everything it comes into contact with, so it can't be ignored.
  • Not fun to play against. It just walked towards my huddle of models, handing out crits and not caring about damage until it fell over and died

 

And that's just your opinion...

Of course something costing more than a third of your fleet will be dominating... That's the way it has to be. Dreads also dominates 1000k games and kills everything which pass close enough. BTW, I'm far less afraid of a dreadbot comparing to, for example, four complete corvette squadrons! Those pesky things would cause so much more damages...

I love the idea behind the 'bots, they bring variety and challenge to the game and I think they're fun to play (and to play against), as long as Dystopian Wars doesn't become "40k-like", with tons of huge minis on the board. But one is fine, and fun! :)

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I think that prussian bot is nice balanced, but it just imho - while it can shoot paifuly, it is slow and lack defence generator. While it "boarding" modification - its lack shooting and must come close. Japan one have ALOT OF ROCKETS and can hold distance with any naval dreds and battleships, thanks to new "great" rules for 360° robot movement and 9mv. It dont need to go closer and... it CAN do it, which isnt fair much, i think. Not all fractions can shoot at 4rb, and 3rb isnt powerfull enough to take down this rocket-guy (if you dont lucky with chaos/dissaray crits).

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... actually, when it comes to the 70% thing...

If this enemy list was similar to earlier statements (i.e. composed of escorted dreadbot, zarigani, yurei and Ika) then it is not possible to get to 70% without the dreadbot being killed or the Yurei prized (a very difficult prospect, even more so for some factions.

Putting aside the dreadbot for a moment, we have

an ika (robot, cant be prized)

Zarigani (robot, cant be prized)

Escorts (cant be prized)

and the Yurei (Exceptionally difficult to prize)

And you have to assume that the person who built the list knows this, so is unlikely to hand points away with TAC cards.

Robot-heavy lists do have that going for them! Dreadbot just emphasises this.

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... actually, when it comes to the 70% thing...

If this enemy list was similar to earlier statements (i.e. composed of escorted dreadbot, zarigani, yurei and Ika) then it is not possible to get to 70% without the dreadbot being killed or the Yurei prized (a very difficult prospect, even more so for some factions.

Putting aside the dreadbot for a moment, we have

an ika (robot, cant be prized)

Zarigani (robot, cant be prized)

Escorts (cant be prized)

and the Yurei (Exceptionally difficult to prize)

And you have to assume that the person who built the list knows this, so is unlikely to hand points away with TAC cards.

Robot-heavy lists do have that going for them! Dreadbot just emphasises this.

 

Yeah, you're right, i didn't knew the rest of the list. But then, the problem isn't the dreadbot itself. It's that list and the player who made it.

Blaming Spartan Games isn't the solution, he should rather talk to his friend and tell him not to do such stupid lists. Or refuse to play against him  ;) A game isn't a game anymore if it become boring and annoying.

 

I find dreadbots not more powerful than Dreadnoughts (the Hachiman is a beast for example...) and they are even more costly! I think they are quite balanced...

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I agree that they are not necessarily more powerful, but they do take more resources to take down. With a dread, even in a low point game you can kill it with a few boarding waves. Also, even if a boarding attempt on a dread fails to take it out, it usually drains enough crew that the dread-player has to play it very conservatively, lessening its impact on the game. These robot dreads do not have that Achilles heel, so they must be blasted with a lot more firepower.

They also cannot be managed in quite the same way, since a lot of them are substantially faster (and able to go on land to see over things) compared to normal dreads. I am not necessarily saying this is a problem though, since it seems more likely a change in tactics will cope with this.

I have no direct experience with them yet though, so am still reserving overall judgement on whether they are balanced or not, but my gut feeling is that they warp low point games too much.

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Ever heard of prizing ships? Or TAC cards? :)

 

Pay attention before you get smug, mate.

 

And that's just your opinion...

 

Great way to just ignore any valid points. Just an opinion, man.

 

 

Of course something costing more than a third of your fleet will be dominating... That's the way it has to be. Dreads also dominates 1000k games and kills everything which pass close enough. BTW, I'm far less afraid of a dreadbot comparing to, for example, four complete corvette squadrons! Those pesky things would cause so much more damages...

 

At 380 points it did more damage than any super expensive squadron I could field. Why isn't an Omicron Aerial Squadron anywhere near that effective? They're a whopping 320 points, only the price of a light cruiser less. A Kepler-Aristotle squadron costs 1/3rd of my points, why isn't it nearly as difficult to damage as the dreadbot? I'd much rather face four corvette squadrons- at least it only takes four hits to reduce the power of a squadron by a notable amount. The dreadbot only cares about double that, and has shield (3) to go with it. A balanced CoA list can easily kill enough corvettes turn one to make them a much less deadly threat. A balanced CoA list has nearly no chance of reducing the dreadbot's effectiveness.

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[...] blah blah [...]

 

Oh, so you're not just whinning all over the place but you're also condescendant and unpleasant, "mate". I wasn't agressive, keep cool, "mate".

 

I won't start an endless argument with you, as you're clearly here just to find people who agree with you. So yes, dreadbots are overpowered, unbeatables and gamebreaking. We all cry with you, "mate".

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The thing that gets me about the complaint is the fact that you won.  It would be one thing to claim they were overpowered.  It would be one thing to complain about them being overpowered if you had been handed a crushing defeat, even a minor loss I could see.  But to say "I had to try really hard to get a minor victory" is hardly the bases for claiming something is broken and overpowered.

 

The fact that it can't be ignored I can't see as a problem, especially in a game that size.  Saying "well I couldn't just ignore one third of my opponents list" doesn't really have any credibility to it.

 

It would be too hard to build a medium or small heavy list and try a points-denial sort of list.  Given the nature of Field Orders though that wouldn't always work, but it wouldn't be too hard to keep at least one of them alive if your opponent needed to kill them all.

The thing is, if you had been playing 1250 then you could have ignored it, if you had pulled "destroy all medium" or "destroy all small" you could have easily done that and got 50% and been able to avoid it.  If you had pulled one of the latter field orders it probably would have been a really easy game to win because they had so much invested in a single model.  That is the strength and weakness of the list they built.

 

I just don't think one game, at a lower point value, against a single opponent, is enough to claim an entire class of models is broken.  If you had played dozens of games against many different dread robots, at many different point values, I could see more of a basis for the complaint.  But one game, in which you won, is hard to take as gospel.

 

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I guess any game where you cannot win without taking out a model is a bit iffy. I'd be angry if someone put a dreadnought in my 800 point game. Similarly, I'd rather not see dread bots under 1250 pts.

 

I still think they look cool though, wouldn't mind a bash with/against them.

 

Incidentally, does anybody play dread vs no dread games? I generally don't field one unless the opponent does as well, and this seems to be the case for dreadbots as well.

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I play many games where only one side has a dread. More often than not it goes badly for the one with the dread unless they play very very carefully. I think everyone in the group I play with is very adept at turning enemy dreads into huge piles of victory points. Taking one and expecting to dominate the game without a coherent and well thought out tactical plan is usually akin to throwing the game away. As a coa player I seem to play with dreads a lot more often of late, but the majority of my KoB and other fleets are well practiced at killing dreadnoughts without the use of one.

But most of the time the dreads die to boarding assaults. I think this is true in any meta which had got used to dreads and doesn't view them as some heinous witchcraft. These new robots are not so easily gotten rid of...

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Its just gonna come to the point where dreads are banned by all, or at least most game organisers in lower points games :unsure:

 

I see no problem with this. I've used my Prometheus one, maybe two times, since 2.0 came out.

 

 

The thing that gets me about the complaint is the fact that you won.  It would be one thing to claim they were overpowered.  It would be one thing to complain about them being overpowered if you had been handed a crushing defeat, even a minor loss I could see.  But to say "I had to try really hard to get a minor victory" is hardly the bases for claiming something is broken and overpowered.

 

It kind of is, though. What I had to do to get a minor victory was take the one list regarded as pretty much the worst thing you can do in Dystopian Wars- Drone Spam. The drone feedback changes having barely any impact on drone spam is a debate for another time, but suffice to say that drone spam is still the sort of list that gets brought out just to prove a point. This is the same sort of argument that results in "you're just grumpy because you lost"

 

The fact that it can't be ignored I can't see as a problem, especially in a game that size.  Saying "well I couldn't just ignore one third of my opponents list" doesn't really have any credibility to it.

 

Fair enough, I shouldn't be able to ignore a third of my opponent's list. The issue arises when there's such a difficulty in doing something about it. Because the dreadbot suffers no ill effects from damage until it keels over, and only cares about a few crit table results, when you're unlikely to reach it's crit rating, means that it's almost impossible to do any meaningful damage to it. If you don't ignore it, you have to commit to taking it out, which means virtually ignoring the other two thirds of the opposing fleet.

 

 

It would be too hard to build a medium or small heavy list and try a points-denial sort of list.  Given the nature of Field Orders though that wouldn't always work, but it wouldn't be too hard to keep at least one of them alive if your opponent needed to kill them all.

The thing is, if you had been playing 1250 then you could have ignored it, if you had pulled "destroy all medium" or "destroy all small" you could have easily done that and got 50% and been able to avoid it.  If you had pulled one of the latter field orders it probably would have been a really easy game to win because they had so much invested in a single model.  That is the strength and weakness of the list they built.

 

The only thing in that list that I could shoot at normally was the dreadbot itself. Obscured Inari, submerged Ika and Zarigani, escorts hidden behind the dreadbot, and a Yurei to top it off. Killing all mediums was a pretty unlikely prospect, as the Yurei is a sod to kill. Since the Yurei + Dreadbot (with rocket launchers) is 530 points, that required prizing something- and the only prizeable models in that fleet were Inaris.

As for playing 1250 points, I think it's totally unwarranted to effectively say "you're just playing the game wrong". 1000 points is the largest game that can be reasonably played in our club's usual meetings (three hours, minus table setup, clearing up, moving things to storage etc.. We probably have under 2 1/2 hours for a game)

 

 

But most of the time the dreads die to boarding assaults. I think this is true in any meta which had got used to dreads and doesn't view them as some heinous witchcraft. These new robots are not so easily gotten rid of...

 

This is what it comes down to- all normal dreadnoughts have a big weakness, usually to boarding (or in the case of the Moskva, boarding, speed and being pretty **** outside RB2). If someone puts down a normal DN, it's kind of a sod to deal with, but it's not some insurmountable obstacle- I can hurt it to blunt it's claws a bit, if it gets close I can board it. With the bots, neither of these things can happen, as all their weapons ignore damage to a degree, and boarding is significantly less effective against them.

 

 

Oh, so you're not just whinning all over the place but you're also condescendant and unpleasant, "mate". I wasn't agressive, keep cool, "mate".

 

I won't start an endless argument with you, as you're clearly here just to find people who agree with you. So yes, dreadbots are overpowered, unbeatables and gamebreaking. We all cry with you, "mate".

 

Okay, buddy. It's spelled 'aggressive', by the way.

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" At 380 points it did more damage than any super expensive squadron I could field. " the bane of every war-gamer!

 

Your a smart player that adapted and won, it was tough but you did it. So maybe we now can let others play with their new shinny toy.

 

Now if I can only save up enough $ and get me one.

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Okay, buddy. It's spelled 'aggressive', by the way.

 

And now, you're just being childish. Pointing out a spelling mistake from your non-english speaker surely helps to prove your point. I'm sure your french, for example, is irreproachable!

But I guess it's all you have found to say, since you have no arguments left for a while...

 

 Keep whining, "buddy".

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" At 380 points it did more damage than any super expensive squadron I could field. " the bane of every war-gamer!

 

Your a smart player that adapted and won, it was tough but you did it. So maybe we now can let others play with their new shinny toy.

 

Now if I can only save up enough $ and get me one.

 

I really don't want the way to adapt to be "play drones more". That's... a bad path for the game to go down. We already know drone games aren't really fun, and if that's the way we have to play to stop a dreadbot, I don't think I want to be a part of it.

 

 

And now, you're just being childish. Pointing out a spelling mistake from your non-english speaker surely helps to prove your point. I'm sure your french, for example, is irreproachable!

But I guess it's all you have found to say, since you have no arguments left for a while...

 

Keep whining, "buddy".

 

Will do, mon ami.

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So I've been theory-crafting most of this because I don't have the experience to do otherwise. 

But going back and looking again at the numbers, and the other options that could have been taken, I've got a few more points to look at.

 

One problem was that all of the Dread-Bots weapons were tertiary so they aren't affected by damage, and you were saying he was killing everything at RB3.

At RB3 it has 4 sets of rockets, 2 at 8, 2 at 10.  The normal dread has one set at 8 and one at 10 for RB4 and 7/9 at RB3.  These are also tertiary.  But at RB3 it also has 3 main turrets at 9 at RB3 (for and aft, but at broadside all 3 can fire).  That is 8/10/5/5/5 at RB4 or 7/9/9/9/9 at RB3 vs 8/8/10/10 at RB3.  So you're looking at more pain from farther out with a regular dread, and considering you said it wiped out your commodore in the second turn, the normal dread would have probably done likewise because you wouldn't have been able to take off much, if anything, from the main turrets before its first round and not that much the second.  The dread also has incendiary weapons across the board, the dread-bot has no incendiary weapons.

 

Also looking over your list you didn't have anything that heavily armored, you're strongest ship had a lower CR than the dread-bot had DR.  Of course the normal dread has one less DR, but the same CR, so not much more likely to take damage.  Not being able to crit the dread-bot would also have been true for the normal dread.  The normal dread would also have had better defense and offense against your drones, rockets, and torpedoes. 

 

So while I see the dread-bot as being hard to kill and very dangerous, I don't see how it is that much worse than the normal dread.  Yes, the normal dread could have been boarded, but before turn 2 when it took out your commodore?  And for the same point cost it could have added 3 rocket escorts to increase its RB3 damage even further and increased its defensive numbers even more.

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First up, all the Dreadbot's ordnance weapons are incendiary. It's also much faster than the regular dreadnought. The dreadbot spent the first turn moving around an island, which the normal dreadnought would have struggled to move around by the end of turn two. Then the Dreadbot is far more manoeuvrable than a normal DN- the DN would have had to spent most of its movement to turn and bring its broadside to bear. Both of these mean that the DN is not going to close a full rangeband every turn.

 

The Dreadnought's rockets, at RB3 link for 13AD, and 14AD at RB4. With escorts, this becomes 19AD at RB3. If trying to close in, it will likely be unable to use broadside rockets, and thus get 10AD at RB4 and 15AD at RB3 (with escorts). Turrets for an undamaged closing DN (only two turrets) are 8AD at RB4 and 14AD at RB3. Once it goes broadside, these become 10AD and 18AD, but again, this means not closing any range bands. Those gunnery dice also drop quickly with shooting. The Robo-DN gets 29AD with Escorts, and due to 360 movement will almost always get those dice, at the very least will always get all its launchers on a target.

 

Any one aspect is fine- big AD, movement, manoeuvrability, toughness, immunity to dice reduction, immunity to dereliction/prizing, but the robot has all of them.

 

To note, my list included two sky fortresses, which are DR6/CR10, with shields and the option to go obscured.

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I only added the escorts to the dread to bring it up to the same point cost as the dread bot. 

 

I missed the incendiary universal rule, I knew most EoBS has incendiary, but I also know there are some exceptions to what are the general theme of the various armies.  I saw the dread had specifically stated the incendiary MAR and the dread-bot did not.

 

Personally given the relative lack of high DR/CR of most of your models I would have fired many of the weapons un-linked, which would end up in a larger total number of AD and many would likely have been able to crit without the linking. 

 

The dread, while more powerful up close, had the DR/CR to survive most of what you could throw at it at range and still had the firepower to take down the majority of your forces fairly easily.  With that in mind I would have focuses on increased firepower at range and let you do the closing because that is a fight I would come out ahead in.

 

Also the COA has options that could hurt the thing with its own weapons (not just drones) you just didn't choose to take any of those models.  "I could only damage it with drones" doesn't mean as much when that is only true because you took a very drone heavy list and left out the hard hitting units of your own that don't need drones.

 

And yes, the sky fortresses would have been a lot harder to kill than most of the rest of your list, but given the field orders he could have mostly ignored them, and being the same point cost 360 in sky fortresses vs 370 in dread-bot, you were both mostly in the same situation, where the random chance of field orders changed a lot in what you had to actually focus on with the opponent. 

 

Without having seen the map (did you take any pictures or write up an actual battle report that I missed in said forum?) it is hard to say how much the maneuverability helped, could he have just placed differently at the start with a normal dread and not lost the two turns of movement to get around the island?

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The dread, while more powerful up close, had the DR/CR to survive most of what you could throw at it at range and still had the firepower to take down the majority of your forces fairly easily

 

Yes, that's one of the issues with the damn thing.

 

With that in mind I would have focuses on increased firepower at range and let you do the closing because that is a fight I would come out ahead in.

 

Also the COA has options that could hurt the thing with its own weapons (not just drones) you just didn't choose to take any of those models.  "I could only damage it with drones" doesn't mean as much when that is only true because you took a very drone heavy list and left out the hard hitting units of your own that don't need drones.

 

Like what? Even a Kepler-Aristotle squadron will not score a critical hit with average rolls. CoA are well known for having normal turrets that do not stand up well when damaged, so they were unlikely to be particularly useful. Energy turrets are better in this regard, but lack the raw dice power (and Sturginium Rounds, for what they're worth). I could only damage it with drones was an evaluation I reached before I even built a list. Bringing guns that are both powerful enough to hurt the RDN at range, and numerous enough to get through its HP before it can destroy most of your firepower is an impossible task in any normal sized game.

 

And yes, the sky fortresses would have been a lot harder to kill than most of the rest of your list, but given the field orders he could have mostly ignored them, and being the same point cost 360 in sky fortresses vs 370 in dread-bot, you were both mostly in the same situation, where the random chance of field orders changed a lot in what you had to actually focus on with the opponent.

 

Except the Sky Fortresses were far more vulnerable to damage than the dreadnought robot, suffering full damage to their weapons and losing a drone every two.

 

Without having seen the map (did you take any pictures or write up an actual battle report that I missed in said forum?) it is hard to say how much the maneuverability helped, could he have just placed differently at the start with a normal dread and not lost the two turns of movement to get around the island?

 

A normal DN has a much harder time compensating for being out-deployed than the robot DN. He deployed it centrally, next to/behind an island, and I deployed as far as humanly possible away from it, in a corner. Because a DN is a massive model, and is thus deployed first, it is fairly easy to deploy in a way that makes it difficult to bring its full power to bear. The robot DN is fast enough to make that a significantly less effective tactic.

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There really is no reasoning with someone who doesn't want to listen to other opinions. Simply put, if you don't want to face a dread robot just ask the opponent to not bring it and if they still do you don't have to play him since it's a game.

It's supposed to be for fun. If your going for competitive in tournaments it's been very obvious throughout the forum that most tournament settings ban Dreadnought units

More people seem to play dread bots as more scenario pieces or to try them out and see how they play (since they are new to the game)

A lot of good points have been made for both arguments but bickering at each other just degrades the forums made for fun, debate, and sharing tactics and stories

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