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Sebenko

Dreadnought Robots- How to bring one down?

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A faction having weaknesses is par for the course (e.g. CoA having low AP numbers and few huge-AD guns), but when it gets to the extent that there's a model your opponent can place down and it effectively becomes game over, that's going too far.

I think everyone can agree to that completely.  But now that we're getting close to the root of the problem we can try to fix the problem instead of just saying "all dreadbots" are broken.

Right now we seem to mostly be down to one of 3 options:

they should be restricted in smaller games

the COA doesn't have the tools to deal with one

the EotBS Dreadbot is too powerful

 

It could be a combination of all three even, but it gives us somewhere to go and something to try.  If you and your friend played a 1500 point game instead of 1000 you could see if that helped a lot or not.

Maybe COA just needs something like Hunter (dreadbot) on a few of their models, that would let them deal with dreadbots while not changing their balance against anything else.  And for the fluff, maybe they have developed a new type of targeting computer, but it is very crude and will only pick up the very strong sturginium signal that the dreadbots have, as other models are small enough that it can't really pick them up.

Maybe you try a game or two where you agree to treat the EotBS's ranged weapons at P instead of T and see if it feels more balanced that way.

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I wish we could, but we simply don't have time to play 1500 points very often, though I do think it's part of the issue. As much as I'd like Hunter(dreadbot), I think it would just be a patch over the issue- and it also means that if any dreadnought robots aren't as tough as CR14 Shield(3), they might just get gunned down. That said, I don't really have a better idea right now.

 

An idea that springs to mind could be an anti-robot generator, like an EMP pulse- but that seems, again, too specific. And just giving a new toy as a hard counter to one specific model seems like a bad idea.

 

Other considerations- dealing with their boarding, the CoA has no reliable way of reducing AP or inflicting critical effects to slow them down. The only model I can think of is the Beta Time Orb, and using the time flow generator to slow it down, but that's very specific, and in 1000 points you don't really want to be spending 100 points on a circumstantial maybe-useful-maybe-not model.

 

I think reducing issues one and three- availability in small games and the immunity to damage of the EotBS robot- would hopefuly cover for the CoA's lack of tools.

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I don't do tournaments and never will but I fully agree that at low points, models as inherently powerful as the dreadbots just don't work well at 1,000 points (or Lord forbid, lower). I think limiting the availability of the dreadbots to higher point levels (1500?) is the simplest and cleanest outcome. Pending testing the EOTBS bot solely in that 1500+ environment, I'd hesitate before nerfing anything.

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The CoA is never without the right tools. It is just that our main anti-large/massive tool (and its delivery system) got severely smacked about with the nerf bat. I am, of course, referring to drones.

Our other anti-large/massive tools include our specialist close-range brawlers (Zenos) our heavy firepower hammer (Prometheus) our Super-energy-squadron (Aristotle/Kepler combination). Oh, and Thales too.

Of course, when facing down a dreadnought or some heavy battleships, Zenos will die and Aristotle/Kepler can't stay at RB4 forever. Prometheus can put hurt on anything but damage will eventually pull its teeth. Our tools are good but they need to be used right! Taking on enemy large/massives is still one of our major weaknesses though, especially with the sorry state of drones :(

 

Oh yes, the battle report thing! Sorry, I got distracted by someone saying the CoA lacked a tool of some sort. What silliness :P

 

The time was Thursday, the place was freezing, and bellies had recently been filled with rather tasty burrito...

 

My fleet:

Coeus + 5 drone upgrade   400 points

Aristotle + e-turrets             205 points

3x Cleomedes                    240 points

3x Plato                              165 points

2x Kepler                            190 points

5x Thales                            100 points

5x Thales                            100 points

4x Diogenes                        100 points

 

The perfidious Prussian list:

 

Blucher dreadnought with Tesla and Shield generators and an escort.

Elbe nasty carrier, elite crew and an escort.

3x Uhlans

3x Hussar

2x Haval

4x Stolz

4x Arminius

 

My list was adapted from one of my preferred 1500 point lists. To fit in the Coeus and its massive points cost I had to drop the Zenos for Cleomedes. I chose to keep the two keplers together rather than attach one to the Aristotle, since without the pair their firepower is negligible. These was a problem with this list which I will talk about at the end.

My opponent was trying out out his new prussians (having played KoB for a good while) and was trying out the Uhlans at my request (since I had never seen them in action). He took the blucher because... well, because it is a horrible nasty dreadnought. He took the elbe and Havals for lots of carrier ability (and generally good firepower too). Hussars I think were picked for their terrific (i.e. inspires terror) turret firepower.

 

Deployment:

 

IMAG0273.jpg

 

Deployment started with the Havals going in advance, behind an island and to my left and the Uhlans behind the same island but facing to my right.

With strategic forces dealt with, my opponent then placed the elbe fairly central. I then placed my shiny new Coeus almost directly opposite it but behind a bit of cover. Blucher then went down and I began deploying heavily to the far side. My opponent followed suit, deploying all his smalls and the rest of his mediums opposite my Aristotle, Diogenes, Keplers and Platos.

With a nice island to hide behind and no opposition, my cleomedes and two thales squadrons secured my right flank.

My fleet order was kill all mediums, one that was both ideal and difficult. My fleet excelled at killing mediums but it would not net me very many points and it would be very easy for the Havals to stay away from me and hide.

My plan was as follows; I was confident the Elbe and Blucher were going to tackle the Coeus, whilst the layout of islands would force his left side through a relatively narrow channel if they wanted to come forward and play with my e-turret Aristotle and Keplers (or go for the Coeus later). Thus I would keep the Coeus back for most of the game, moving left and taking out the Uhlans. Then, when the narrower channel became clogged, I would unleash its monstrous PA. The Aristotle and Keplers would soften them up (and hopefully kill a Hussar, since otherwise their firepower would be enough to ruin the Aristotle's day) with the Diogenes to tidy up. Meanwhile the Platos would sneak around another island to the left and ambush the prussians in the rear (and hunt down the Arminius and Stolz before they could make a nuisance of themselves.

Finally, aware that the Coeus would never be able to go up against the Elbe and Blucher (even if I planned on targeting them with it) without perishing horribly, I would send the Cleomedes and Thales round the right flank, hiding behind an island for turn one then rush-boarding the Elbe on turn two and three. It would be risky, since the plan did not count on damaging the Elbe first and it had as escort (so lots of ack ack) but I figured the first wave of boarders would sabotage it or at least decrew it a little, so that either the second or third wave would be able to snag it. That would also provide the bulk of the points I felt necessary to secure victory.

I liked the plan. Still do actually. It had holes though...

 

Turn one.

My usual tactic for my first activation is to fire a warning shot of energy turrets into a vulnerable cruiser. I was hesitant to move my Aristotle out of cover however, so we began the tiny flier phase. When that concluded, I decided to bite the hail of prussian bullets and let fire! Since the hussars have rugged 1 and CR 7, I decided to let all four turrets fire at one. Total; point of damage. My rolling in this turn would be poor throughout, as the Keplers and the Diogenes both took shots at this Hussar and it survived. My platos, cleomedes (who took some health off an Uhlan) and Thales all moved up in safety behind their cover, trying to wait out the dreadnought and elbe. I wanted them to move first before I moved my dreadbot so that they would spend as much time as possible at range.

My opponent did not have too much luck with his shooting, his Havals moved out of cover and began heading towards me, his Hussars charged forward but failed to hurt the Aristotle due to range, damage and wavelurking. His Stolz and Arminius moved up behind the Hussars. The Elbe finally moved up and used its fore tesla to put a point of damage onto the Coeus.

Side note: for any of the close combat focused dreadbots, lethal strike will be a pain! Prussians definitely have a nice tool there.

Finally I activated the Coeus, it moved diagonally to the left and spat a PA shot (RB3) at the Uhlan squadron and then fired 3 sets of rockets at them for good measure. The outcome was a crit and some damages. Nothing too special really, the dice were not with me.

The Coeus then got smacked by the Blucher, but not too badly. Just another few points of damage.

End of turn!

 

Turn 2.

Oh the agony of choice! To activate the Coeus, the Thales or something else. The Coeus was faced with an ever-approaching Blucher, some dive bombers and an elbe, but it was a tough old boot... I would risk leaving it for a bit, waiting until that narrow channel was a bit more full. I raced the Thales forward to board the Elbe, hoping for a sabotage and some crew kills. The Thales also put the final hole in a Uhlan. Now here, my opponent was very kind to me. You see, I had mismeasured the movement of the Thales last turn and really only 2 of them were in boarding range. Being a gentleman, Level9Red let me nudge them forward a little. Karma is a swift and deadly enemy, since of the 10 crew from the 5 Thales only one survived the ack ack. I have seldom seen so many 6s in ack ack. That crewman then, using his elite training, failed to kill anyone. And was then slaughtered. I like to think the prussians killed him slowly due to his ineptitude.

The hussars moved forward, taking aim at the Aristotle, and missing. The Havals moved forward, took aim at the Aristotle, and missed. The Platos moved up behind the enemy line and ruined the Stolz and sank a hussar. The Diogenes then threaded between the two Hussars and let rip with both broadsides! Woo! more damage for them. The Diogenes were then eviscerated by Arminius guns and boarding.

Side note: This as the first kill for my opponent. Something that caught me by surpriseMy Aristotle, scared of imminent boarding, activated and took a cap of fighters. It shot a PA shot at a Haval and sank a Hussar with turrets and broadsides (damaging the last Hussar, so it only had 2 hp left)

To the right, my 2nd Thales squad and the Cleomedes were trying to outwait the Elbe. The last Uhlan (I forget how one of them died) sped past my 1st thales squadron and put a mine in their path before shooting one dead.

In the centre, things were not looking good for the Coeus. The blucher and some dive bombers had all been chipping away at it and had reduced it to below half health. No crits, thankfully, but it was being pecked to death swiftly. I had intercepted a dive bomber squadron with drones and was trying to keep the skies looking friendly, but my drones were swiftly being depleted by his fighters and his carriers just kept refreshing squadrons all over the place. The Blucher had also taken a shot at a Kepler and magazine exploded it all over the place, causing a crit to the 2nd Kepler. The 2nd Kepler spat out a squad of dive bombers and forgot to wavelurk. The elbe stuck a lightning rod on the Coeus and added some more damage.

 

0221be39-d72e-4738-8281-adca732cb2f2.jpg

 

But finally the moment was neigh! The channel was full of ships and the PA was still powerful (11 dice due to damage in rb 1 and 2). I moved it and, what with having 360 degree movement, lined up the perfect shot...

 

IMAG0275.jpg

 

Here was where all my dice luck had been hiding all game. Averages be damned! The PA shot at 2 Havals nearly full health, 1 damaged Hussar and 3 Arminius. The rockets each targeted a Haval. Everything died except 1 shell shocked Arminius frigate.

Side note: Until now, the Coeus had been a little unimpressive. Fun, because who doesn't like a 360 degree RB4 PA, but no overly powerful. The Prometheus would have been able to do everything it had done and more, whilst being cheaper. This, however, the Prometheus would not have been able to do. With so much damage, the Prometheus would have been much less effective at multi-targetting. The Coeus however, due to prior preparation by the rest of the fleet, was able to wipe out the bulk of the enemy.

In the last gasp of the turn, the cleomedes move up to strike next turn, failed to finish off the Uhlan and missed the elbe. Thales moved up for a straight run at the elbe too.

 

Turn 3.

With the majority of his fleet sipping seawater with the sea cucumber sandwiches, Level9Red and I both examined out victory conditions and the points necessary. He then moved his dreadnought up and killed my dreadbot with turrets and broadside (despite the shield finally turning on properly.) then completed the ritual humiliation by having his crew leap onto the Aristotle (after ack-acking its cap)

6 ack ack (plus 1 from the remaining cap) killed all but 7 of the boarders. It would be close! My 6 elite crew vs his 7. Well... I say my 6 elite crew. In actuallity, it was 5 elite crew and the ships cook. The 5 elite crew killed 6 of his, but the cook was useless and missed -.- So close!. Then the terror tactics 4 and the 7 elite crew rampaged over my Aristotle and derelicted it.

In response, my Thales charged the Elbe and boarded it (killing the last Uhlan en route). Sadly, the Elbe's ack ack retained karmic blessing and slaughtered them all except one (again).

The Elbe the activated and put a lot of hurt on a Cleomedes (killing all its crew through lethal strikes and raging fire crit). and killed my last Kepler. It was my last chance, my cleomedes attempted to board the elbe. Sadly, god mode was still engaged by the Elbe's ack-ack crew and the one guy who made it to the deck of the elbe was unable to carry the day.

The rest of the turn saw my Platos tidy up the Stolz and Arminius whilst my crewless Thales killed an escort. Prussian dive bombers then tore apart 2 Cleomedes to get to their juicy juicy points.

The end result:

IMAG0276.jpg

 

He had 2 ships left, but they were an undamaged Blucher and Elbe.

I had 1 cleomedes, 8 Thales, 3 Platos. 

We both had completed our field orders (his to kill the commodore, mine to kill the mediums).

He had used 4 40 point cards, reducing his points by 160

I had used one 40 point card, reducing mine by 40.

Because it was very late (thats my excuse and I am sticking with it!) I added up the points and got it very wrong, declaring the game a draw. (I think I forgot the strategic values, sorry Dave!) when it is clearly a prussian victory!

 

Thoughts:

Drones.

Drones were one of our major anti large/massive weapons. I had not a chance of using them in this manner and no chance of taking control of the skies against his carriers. The drones did not have the speed to strike effectively or avoid enemy fighters without being so badly out of position it would have been laughable. By the relaunching was happening the enemy fighters would just swarm in on the recently launched squadron and make it useless.

On the subject of relaunching, I brought 25 drones to the table and managed 1 relaunch. My drone pool would have supported another launch on turn 3 had the carriers survived. Again, this points to approximately 20 drones needed to supply each carrier with 5 relaunchable drones for turns 2 and 3. This is not nice.

 

Coeus.

The Coeus was tough, it never suffered a crit. But then, neither would any other dread.

The Coeus was threatening, as would have been another dread.

The Coeus was killed by 10 points of damage. As would any other dread have been.

The difference was two fold. First, with the inability to be prized, I felt a bit more relaxed about the Coeus than I generally do about Dreads. I didn't feel the need to protect it (indeed I left it to soak firepower for a full turn in front of a Blucher, an Elbe and some dive bombers!) and its weaponry was still useful after 7 points of damage.

It was able to target whatever it wanted, there was no problem lining things up. This felt necessary, since its main weapon is a fixed channel type. Had my opponent not lined up so much of his fleet, it would have been much much less impressive. 14 dice sounds really good on paper, but hitting on 5s makes it struggle to really hunt large/massives.

Since lethal strike was killing AP, I felt boarding with it was less important than wiping out the medium flank, so didn't really get to test that out. The slow speed would have made this difficult anyway. There is no excuse for letting a 6 inch movement model catch you unless you choose to let it. In theory, it would have had once chance to catch either the Elbe or the Blucher. With 6 crew remaining (+6 from the energised bite ability) it would probably have caused enough hits to pass the DR of either. That means one crit plus d3 hullbreaker. Choosing between the obliteration of my field order targets and doing a maximum of 5 HP damage to the Blucher, I think I chose correctly.

So what are my thoughts on the Coeus? for 380 points (400 with drones) it is fine. It can be pecked to death without too much trouble and its main weapon suffers degradation. It is very slow, which means its impressive close combat attack will be a rarity.

Would I change anything? Oh good lord yes. Firstly, what on earth is a guardian generator doing in the CoA fleet? I can think of only one generator we need less (Disruption, since you're asking... hey wait, what is that you are wearing Aristotle?!). Basically everything in our fleet is shielded. Even the Plutarch! Literally the only vessels in the fleet that can really benefit are the Diogenes and Capek, since they want to stay back and shoot (which means the slow moving Coeus may be close to them for a bit). Anything else will outrace it on turn one. It is unnecessary crossover of generators. Shield 2 would have been fine. Shield 3 would have been good. Guardian 2 protective 2 is both awesome and completely redundant. Now I must admit I am not considering the land units here, since I do not know them well at all. Maybe the guardian synergises superbly with the land units there. If that is the case, I take back the comments (but still don't like the flavour-bleed :P)

Also, in discussion with my opponent, our thoughts both went to the very high CR of the Coeus. Its DR 7 means killing it is not impossible (7 hits is not too hard) but the CR 14 is quite high, making a crit very unlikely. Maybe this doesn't matter, but looking at it from a CoA point of view, I have no weapons that could aim for a CR 14 with reliability except maybe an undamaged prometheus in RB2. CR 13 would be almost as bad, but at least within the realms of possibility.

Finally, and this is less about well thought out balance than it is about feel, considering how super big and super special and super hard to crit the dreadbots are, I wonder if combustible cargo would be a way to go? It would reward the effort of critting a dreadbot with a greater chance of getting a crit that actually matters (since some of them are just worthless against certain dreadbots).

 

So, in conclusion, the Coeus was fine in 1500 points. It felt like it would be fine in 1250 points. It can be absolutely devestatingly powerful, but only if you opponent plays into it. A bit like the old old (old) Euclid, but with an appropriate points cost.

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Ok so now we have one or two battle reports written by the person that does not have the EotBS deadbot and it is over the top,

 

Wish I had a dollar each time someone said that others ship X is overly powerful  and their ship Y is greatly lacking.

 

I have read each version of the rule book and Spartan Games does not claim the fleets, ships, or units to be balanced!

 

Play with your toys and have fun.

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Ok so now we have one or two battle reports written by the person that does not have the EotBS deadbot and it is over the top,

Wish I had a dollar each time someone said that others ship X is overly powerful and their ship Y is greatly lacking.

I have read each version of the rule book and Spartan Games does not claim the fleets, ships, or units to be balanced!

Play with your toys and have fun.

Thanks for you insightfulness......

honestly, people post battle reports and you start slating them for it. so 2 battle reports on this thread one showing the EOTBS dread and one the coeus and you come out with that verbal broadside...

If you dont care about balance then fine, some of us actually do....go back to the.land of gumdrops then if your that uniterested

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Thoughts:

Drones.

Drones were one of our major anti large/massive weapons. I had not a chance of using them in this manner and no chance of taking control of the skies against his carriers. The drones did not have the speed to strike effectively or avoid enemy fighters without being so badly out of position it would have been laughable. By the relaunching was happening the enemy fighters would just swarm in on the recently launched squadron and make it useless.

On the subject of relaunching, I brought 25 drones to the table and managed 1 relaunch. My drone pool would have supported another launch on turn 3 had the carriers survived. Again, this points to approximately 20 drones needed to supply each carrier with 5 relaunchable drones for turns 2 and 3. This is not nice.

 

It's good to have some confirmation that I'm not the only one having issues with these things. The CoA has very few ways of getting high AD counts onto targets, and the drone changes really compounded it. I think when the drones were strong, it covered up for that weakness so we noticed it less, but now it's become really glaring, especially now CR14 Shielded models exist.

 

Since lethal strike was killing AP, I felt boarding with it was less important than wiping out the medium flank, so didn't really get to test that out. The slow speed would have made this difficult anyway. There is no excuse for letting a 6 inch movement model catch you unless you choose to let it. In theory, it would have had once chance to catch either the Elbe or the Blucher. With 6 crew remaining (+6 from the energised bite ability) it would probably have caused enough hits to pass the DR of either. That means one crit plus d3 hullbreaker. Choosing between the obliteration of my field order targets and doing a maximum of 5 HP damage to the Blucher, I think I chose correctly.

 

...

 

Also, in discussion with my opponent, our thoughts both went to the very high CR of the Coeus. Its DR 7 means killing it is not impossible (7 hits is not too hard) but the CR 14 is quite high, making a crit very unlikely. Maybe this doesn't matter, but looking at it from a CoA point of view, I have no weapons that could aim for a CR 14 with reliability except maybe an undamaged prometheus in RB2. CR 13 would be almost as bad, but at least within the realms of possibility.

Finally, and this is less about well thought out balance than it is about feel, considering how super big and super special and super hard to crit the dreadbots are, I wonder if combustible cargo would be a way to go? It would reward the effort of critting a dreadbot with a greater chance of getting a crit that actually matters (since some of them are just worthless against certain dreadbots).

 

The EotBS one has 9" move, a full 50% more, which seems to be the killer difference here, as it means it can quite easily catch a lot of things. 6", meanwhile, is nearly the slowest movement in the game (Second only to a Moskva failing Sturginium Boost?). We also have no reliable AP reducing methods against robots, which means we can't plink them down in AP to reduce their threat.

 

Also, EotBS escorts have rockets, which boost the Ayakashi from 23/23/23/- to 26/27/29/-. It is a very expensive squadron, but that RB3 barrage is horrific.

 

Whatever the strength of the EotBS (which is, IMHO, obscene in 1000 point games), it's compounded by the CoA's near total inability to counter something so tough.

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Thanks for you insightfulness......

honestly, people post battle reports and you start slating them for it. so 2 battle reports on this thread one showing the EOTBS dread and one the coeus and you come out with that verbal broadside...

If you dont care about balance then fine, some of us actually do....go back to the.land of gumdrops then if your that uniterested

I'll play with my toys and have fun thank you very much.

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Back to the constructive criticism ...

The drones could probably due with some extra movement and a tweak to the drone feedback (only do drone feedback for shot down drones from dogfights or Ack Ack) to help the CoA with tackling tougher ships though there are many ways for the CoA to attack and tackle any opponent

Dreadbots -

There seems to be a lot of agreement to bring back limited availability for the dreadbots due to their power and seems to me at least like a decent idea to me but I would personally have to test them more in both small and large games.

Specifically for the EotBS dreadbot, on paper it seems like the toughest one of them all with a lot of advantages and will at some point write my own battle report with a dreadbot in it.

Are there ways (constructive ways) to tone down the power of a dreadbot without completely nerfing it and an explanation for the change

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What if, because of the huuuuuge amounts of sturginium used in their construction, operation, and generators they were extra-vulnerable to disruption generators, taking an additional point of damage and allowing the activator to roll an additional activation roll against them and take the better result?

Only three COA models have that gen, but its fairly common overall, and a small orbat update could make it more so....

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What if, because of the huuuuuge amounts of sturginium used in their construction, operation, and generators they were extra-vulnerable to disruption generators, taking an additional point of damage and allowing the activator to roll an additional activation roll against them and take the better result?

Only three COA models have that gen, but its fairly common overall, and a small orbat update could make it more so....

The disruption gen... that the Japanese throw down at 24" range?

Sorry which fleet would this benefit most?

And what of fleets with no such capacity?

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So as thamoz's (my kindle wants to auto correct that to grandpa's) opponent I thought I'd pop a few thoughts down from across the table as it were.

As this was my first outing with Prussians I'm not that used to their fleet mechanics so may well have made some rookie mistakes. That caveat in mind:

-I knew I was facing the dreadbot and could try and plan accordingly

-since it showed no inclination to come that close I wasn't worried about its boarding capability, tho being reminded about it adding its PA dice did make me pause and measure to makes I had a chance of avoidance.

-upon deciding how to link weapons I came to the conclusion I was not going to aim to break cr 14, shield 2 with inventive, thamoz always seems to be v inventive with his shields. Going for multiple hits against dr 7 etc seemed to work well.

-my fleet order was the Commodore, on the robot, and swapping it for 70% would have still involved the dread bot, maybe, depending on strategic value.

-I now need to remember that P A are dangerous to mediums, esp with 360 movement, my bad positioning and thamoz's sneakiness got all those ships killed but shielding smallest and mediums with larges, which I understand is a Prussian advancing tactic won't work against P A, I think think this is possibly the biggest scare, the mobile P A, n I'm used to loosing squadrons to them,

-low aa mean that dive bombers should be good, it ran away to p my fleet and out of range, cowardly penguin ;-)

Overall it was a fun game and I don't think this bot is overpowered, as running it forward to board reduces options for the PA. However I'd rematch at 1000 points and take british to see what happens then. Hope that's of some use.

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Did a quick and dirty 1300 test with the Ayakashi and tried using the EoBS special forces in a slightly bigger game...

 

EoBS: Ayakashi + 2 Kitsune, Kaiju + Kitsune, Tenkei (5 Fighters, 1 Spotter), Yurei, Yurei, 4 Yurgi, 5 Fighters, 4 Fighters, 1 Spotter (main idea: Max on the tough to kill units and a brutal RBIII rocket barrage, while the Yurei and the Ayakashi make it less interesting to go in close (no shields on the Kaiju as the Ayakashi provides some with its Guardian).

KoB: Illustrious (5 Fighters, 1 Spotter), Tripleruler, Doublehood, 2 Vanguards, 13 Corvettes, 5 Fighters, 4 Fighters, 1 Spotter (your friendly KoB force next door).

 

EoBS is outmatched badly during deployment. The KoB deployed far back, everything out of range of the Rocket barrage (34" from the Ayakashi).

 

Turn 1: KoB plays the waiting game, most EoBS units don't have any targets at all, the Yurgis prefer to stay in hiding, as firing would see them getting return fire from three KoB Capitals and possibly Corvettes, the Illustrious easily tanks the Kaijus RBIV. Return fire sees a lucky crit on a Ghostship (tweaked down to 1 normal damage for testing purposes), three Rulers and 1 Hood start plinking the Ayakashi (3 damage), 1 Kitsune goes down, 1 is damaged. The Corvetts move in strong positions threatening further advance of the Ghostships.

 

Turn 2: KoB goes first, small Corvettes destroy a Yurgi. A ruler tanks the Rocket barrage from the Ayakashi (17 hits, Ruler is navlocked). The Flamethrower damages one KoB Corvette. Two Rulers use an Island and the advancing Ayakashi so that the Kaiju can't link for a full RBIII barrage, they tank incoming fire from 1 Ghostship and the Kaiju with minor damage on one Ruler, the Yurgis crit a Hood (half gunnery), sink a Corvette and lose all crew when boarding the remaining two KoB Corvettes (they could try as they were doomed anyways). EoBS fighters start knocking out KoB SAWs, however the KoB can turn the tide using surface to air fire as a supporting measure and the Illustrious retasks a squad to 4 divebombers ready to hit the Ayakashi turn 3. On the Surface KoB retaliation is brutal, by turns end two more Yurgis and all Kitsunes are dead, the Ayakashi takes some more plinking hits (2?) and Corvettes prize the damaged Ghostship.

 

Turn 3: EoBS goes first, the Ayakashi still has no range for boarding, but it crushes two Swifts while advancing and pours its whole barrage into a Ruler at RBII, totalling 4 damage and some fires. The remaining ghostship then derelicts the badly damaged ruler only losing one single crew. The Samurai have to jump back or risk the Illustrious taking the Ghostship (and another Ruler salvaging the possible prize). The Ayakashi goes down to its last Hullpoint (all plinks), the last EoBS smalls go down. The Kaiju brings one Hood to its last hullpoint.

 

Turn 4: KoB goes first, the fresh Lord Hood blasts the Ayakashi out of the water with a crit. The slightly damaged Kaiju crits a Hood, does another damage on a Ruler (one is derelict, one at 5 HP, the third one still fresh), the damaged Hood is sightly lucky and survives the torpedoes at RBII. All KoB guns on the Kaiju, the heavy BB is at about 3 HP when Vanguards and the last AP from a couple of Swifts prize the ship.

 

Short version:

Pacific Rim Ghost Samurai fanboy fleet: 0

Guns of Britain: 1

 

Keys were:

- Deployment: The dreadbots (the Restitution aside) are very weak here. KoB could place 1 Hood and all Corvettes after the EoBS were finished deploying (even with KoB strategic advantage)

- Activation advantage

- Boarding, the KoB had about double non robotic AP to start with  (took out 1 ghostship and in the very end the Kaiju). Taking a Superbot leaves you with fewer AP than anyone else except maybe LoIS). Rebuilding the EoBS fleet, I'd drop the Yurgis and some more points for at least 10 Corvettes to partially make up for this.

- KoB gunnery plinking away at the Ayakashi. I did 9 single damage points, 1 crit (on the very last HP). I think going for crits is not worth it. if you can get the dice that give you a reasonable chance to crit (low twenties) you could as well go for two single attacks for two "likely" hits and a decent chance of a crit. Throwing 13-15 dice at that thing gives you a low but reasonable chance for a crit (about 1/6), so keep plinking and be happy with the occasional crit. So if you have these kind of attacks: Gather 12-15 AD and start plinking that thing to death.

- Redoubtable. The KoB can really eat damage and fight on and on... and on.

- Matchup: Thinking about the game for a bit, I do think that kind of fleet is pretty effective against most dreadbot setups.

 

Imho the Ayakashi might be a bit on the strong side compared to some other Robots (and at lower points depending matchup this sure can get broken), but imho the thing is not completely OP. The weird EoBS fleet build didn't help the dreadbot either, as the KoB basically could focus fire on it and run a flank wearing the EoBS down slowly.

 

Keep those Batreps coming guys, I really think these help the Designers a lot.

 

R

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Another week, another dreadbot report...

Today saw the Coeus take part in a 1k (ish) battle vs the KoB.

It... did not end well for the penguins.

 

My list:

Coeus + fighter upgrade.

Aristotle + 3 galen escorts.

3x Plato

1x Fresnel

5x Thales.

 

My opponents list:

Vengeance (commodore)

Vengeance

Regent

3x Vanguard

Lord Hood

5x Valiant

5x Merlin

 

Thoughts on list building:

Fitting 400 points of model into a 1k list is tough. Fitting it in, and then adding a CoA naval large/massive is painful. I went with an Aristotle because no other CoA large/massive is both cheap enough to fit in the list and actually worth taking.

In this battle I used 3 escorts on the battleship. Since I couldn't upgrade it to e-turrets the Aristotle would have to get close to be effective, and a close-in Aristotle just does not survive long with 6 AP and 6 Ack Ack. I hardly ever use escorts (in fact, between this battle and another I played today I used 6... this is about 6 more than I used in the entirety of last year!) but between them and a full CAP it made the Aristotle a little more difficult to bomb or board. Not sure the resulting squadron was worth 255 points though, despite the fact that the Galen features a nice little gun to link with broadsides.

With an Aristotle and a Coeus in the list, and 100 points destined to be spent on Thales, I had very limited points for anything else. I chose to include a Fresnel for long range firepower and a squadron of Platos for some general support.

The lack of carrier support really hurt me in this battle, as I had no real answer to the vast number of submarines that I was suddenly facing.

 

Deployment:

The Coeus took centre stage, so it could march straight ahead and hopefully dominate the battlefield from the centre.

The Aristotle sailed alongside the Coeus, to add its own firepower and hopefully let the Coeus deal with any major boarding threats to the Aristotle.

Fresnel sailed off on the left flank.

Platos took the right, hoping to draw piercing torpedo shots away from the Coeus.

Thales went leftwards. With no real target likely, they would approach in open water in a threatening manner and hope to draw fire away from the Aristotle.

My opponent put a Vengeance to each side and a Regent in the centre, his Vanguards were advance deployed a little to the right of centre and his hood was likewise placed similarly. Valiants went left, Merlins went right.

 

Turn one.

In turn one, the Coeus moved forward 6 inches and failed to do anything, since an island blocked its view of anything except Merlins (and the three rocket shots yielded only a scratch to one of them.) My Aristotle moved forward and took out a merlin, as did my Platos. Fresnel sailed off further to the left and put a point of damage on the Regent at extreme range which the Regent failed to reciprocate. Drones buzzed about and became capped to the Aristotle and Coeus, since the threat of dive bombers was worrisome. Thales moved up the left, looking dangerous and aiming at the Regent.

During this time, a hail of ferocious torpedos from the Vanguards and a vengeance obliterated 2 Platos (one of which suffered a double crit and teleported on top of the Coeus, before magazine exploding to damage the nearby Aristotle and killing an escort). Some Thales died to Hood turrets and some torp shots from the other Vengeance and valiants.

 

Turn 2.

The right hand vengeance and Vanguards performed a pretty dance with the last Plato, which neatly avoided being rammed but didn't avoid the torpedoes. Piercing torps failed to hurt the Coeus. Vanguard maneuvering around the island was a hectic and jumbled affair that would mean struggling to catch the deceptively nippy Aristotle next turn. The last remaining merlin tried to take out an escort and close range but perished in a shower of Ack Ack. The Coeus tip-toed onto the island and, with no real targets to accelerate at, threw 18 dice of rocketry at the Lord Hood, which suffered a double crit. 14 dice particle accelerator wiffed against the Regent, but then a PA is hardly the right weapon to use against a large/massive target. The right hand Vengeance lined up a piercing torp shot on the Coeus (after target painting it) but didn't manage to hit the DR after CC and shields were finished. The Regent, not having a good day, fired at the Aristotle and scratched it. At some point, the Thales died. I forget how. It may have been the hood.

 

Turn 3.

The Coeus was in an interesting position. Being bloody massive, its position actually stopped the Vanguards moving past it to board the Aristotle. This left me a bit of time to use my (admittedly limited) remaining fleet without too much worry. The Fresnel attempted to finish the Hood, but failed. The Aristotle, slightly damaged but in optimum range, went into wavelurking and used its submerged PA to knock out 2 Valiants, whilst another died to its forward turrets. With a nice bit of luck the rear two turrets scratched another hull point off the Regent, whilst the escorts linked guns to finish off the Lord Hood. The remaining Valiants attempted to board an escort but the high levels of Ack Ack in the squadron prevented them succeeding. The Regent attempted to get its torpedoes in line with the Aristotle, but discovered the huge problem that the submarines had been suffering... no range band 1! It settled for a torpedo turret shot that almost got through the shields of the Aristotle.

Now was the moment the Coeus had been waiting for, it snarled forward and bit deep into the hull of the Regent, rockets raining down around it. 12 elite AP + 7 from energised bite special ability. The resulting roll would have caused 9 damage. The regent was conclusively scrapped. Things were not looking good however...I had badly screwed up the positioning of the Aristotle though. It was in front of but to the side of a Vengeance. I had tried to race it along so that it would avoid torps and ramming, but had forgotten that I could have put it right in front of the Vanguard and forced a collision rather than a ram. As it was, the fierce chainsaw submarine bit into the Aristotle and rolled 6 successes on its impact rating, enough to crit and (due to hull breaker) kill the battleship. On a collision, it would only have been a point of damage -.-

The last escort died too. I forget how, it may have been dive bombed.

 

Here the game ended, my opponent having scored 50% and all smalls. Stymied by having no tool to tackle the large and medium submarines, I had struggled to damage a large part of the KoB force, and therefore not at the required 70%.

 

Thoughts:

The number of submarines I was facing, without my own carrier support, made this a very tough game. The CoA is a fleet of specialists, and our specialist anti-submarines tool is the same as everybody elses; Torpedo bombers. With so many points taken up by the dreadbot and the necessary naval large, I decided to go to battle without a carrier. This limited my flexibility and punished me in the end.

Another aspect of this was the air war was destined to be won by the KoB. Without the speed to make use of drones aggressively and with no way of getting them back once they had died, I played very defensively with them. Capping both Coeus and Aristotle. This made them difficult targets to dive bomb and reduced the effectiveness of those enemy dive bombers that tried their luck. Doing damage to the enemy regent early on to limit its carrier abilities was also key in staving off total aerial defeat, and by the end of the game I still had a fair few drones in the air. It certainly helped that the submarines had poor ack ack and thus I did not face much surface to air interception attacks.

 

Aristotle:

Hooray! I fielded a primary turret Aristotle and it didn't get prized! Of course, it did have 60 points of escort protecting it. And a full CAP. And was next to a dreadbot for added protection. It suffered from damage degradation as usual and was very lucky to get much done after it had 3 damage put onto it. It would have undoubtedly fallen prey to the Vanguards boarding it if I had not been able to use the coeus' massive footprint to complicate their movement.

 

Coeus:

Okay, so this is the 2nd time I have used a the dreadbot and the second clear defeat I have suffered with it. My previous thoughts regarding the Coeus seem to be justified; it needs the right targets and the right situation to have an impact. Against a list that was mostly submerged, it had no real chance to use its main weapon. The rockets made a solid secondary showing, but 400 points went into this model and it just could not create the impact necessary. Like the majority of CoA vessels, I believe it has a specialist role. Being tough and clearing mediums. Denied targets, it was merely a 400 point brick. It struggled to really target large/massives... until it gets into boarding range! Yay, i got to try out energised bite! It is every bit as horrifically powerful as you would have thought! It ate a Regent in one mouthful. But it did require my opponent to drive straight at it. And for me to drive straight at him. And even then, it was only just in boarding range. With a 6 inch move there really is no reason for the Coeus to be able to catch any large/massive target, It just should not happen. It if does, then the enemy ship deserves to get eaten by the centipede of death.

Against a less submarine heavy fleet, the Coeus would have had more of an impact, but would still have relied on the opponents fleet being aligned badly. As it was, it was fairly safe for Level9Red to ignore it and just beat up the rest of my fleet. It suffered 1 point of damage from a RB1 Regent's fore cannon (reduced by damage) in the whole game.

Overall, it does not seem too powerful for its cost. It is exceptionally good at one or two things, but has enough flaws to make it manageable. Certainly I have found building a list with the thing to be painful, especially at the 1k level. If it could move 9 inches and therefore definitely swallow one or two enemy large/massives per game, that would be both awesome and a balance problem. At 6 inches, it is just too slow for it to be a real worry, but can be used to control your opponents movement and protect the fleet.

No pictures this time, I took a few but they are terribly terribly blurry (a bit like my memory really).

 

Following this game we played a 1250 CoA vs Danish. Another CoA defeat (my third in a row :S but at least there was no dreadbot this time) which saw some spectacularly poor luck on my part, a set of dice that were addicted to 6s on my opponents, and a Pericles... which is a bit like a handicap, but it launches drones every so often. It survived the battle too! By the simple expedient of there being more pressing things for my enemy to shoot. Capeks were involved too. Capeks are very expensive. Capeks would be worth it if their energy guns went all the way to RB4. Capeks die to danish fighter squads very easily.

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If it could move 9 inches and therefore definitely swallow one or two enemy large/massives per game, that would be both awesome and a balance problem. At 6 inches, it is just too slow for it to be a real worry, but can be used to control your opponents movement and protect the fleet.

 

*cough* How fast does the Blazing Sun one move, again?

 

Honestly, I'd like to see more reports vs. the Ayakashi at 1k, especially versus the Covenant, just to see if my experience of the dreadbots it replicated.

 

Following this game we played a 1250 CoA vs Danish. Another CoA defeat (my third in a row :S but at least there was no dreadbot this time) which saw some spectacularly poor luck on my part, a set of dice that were addicted to 6s on my opponents, and a Pericles... which is a bit like a handicap, but it launches drones every so often. It survived the battle too! By the simple expedient of there being more pressing things for my enemy to shoot. Capeks were involved too. Capeks are very expensive. Capeks would be worth it if their energy guns went all the way to RB4. Capeks die to danish fighter squads very easily.

 

Why the Capeks got changed, I will never know... especially in the same update they were added to a specialist squadron that would actually benefit from them having RB4 firepower.

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Just a side note about Coeus - in the DW online campaign we received two battle reports with Coeus, against PE (1500 pts) and against KoB (1000 pts).  Both times Covenant lost. Against the KoB mostly submarines fleet it was apparently pretty useless, against PE it " it wiped out 2 medium carriers, 1 gunship and 2 Arminius frigates in a single shot! ", but still it was blasted to pieces.

 

Sounds not imba to me, but neither too weak.

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Is it me or is the french and British one a little insane. and the Russian one kinda garbage.

mind you just off of looking at it.

 

the British ones obvious weakness is that it vulnerable to sas bombers with its low aa. but at the price it can just take an avenger to cover its air defense at 1000 points

the french cant be taken in games less than 1000 which is nice but retard 3 rug 2 on 8 AA with clouds is gona make it stupid hard to even hurt while it can dish out 18 power heat lance death at rb4 if need be.

the Russian one cant have the gun option at 1000 points which sucks, it moves fast but its gunnery is horribly vulnerable if it even takes damage. and only takes 5 chips to lose its ablative. seems horribly meh.

 

Oh additional the British and french one is essentially and completely completely redoubtable to stack on to how bad the Russian one got it.

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But it also suffers the most for taking any amount of damage. and 11 is really easy to do. especially with no rugged mar.

 

all the other bots have redoutable weapons off the bat ether because of energy or being british. and i believe all of them have additional defense from shields to rugged.

 

i cant see the justification for how vulnerable the russian one is.

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At that point why not just play italians? :P

 

these robots should be able to hold there own. this one appears to be the weakest. mind you this is only on paper. so take that as it is.

 

edit: cant speak for the french but i highly doubt many corvettes will make it after large blast areabombardments 14-20ish dice on 5s. and then 18 flippin elites and 3 security posts.

 

edit:2 4 AA though :/

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