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S.Neil

Discussion Thread for the new Terran Alliance Stats

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Thank you to everyone that is testing and keep up what good work. I also want to note we are in the final week of testing now so go try out the other ships if you have not played with them yet.  Let SG know what you think as YOU the players are the reason the game is still around.

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Yesterday me and my mate wanted to be good spartan-"citizen" and help test the new rules. Two games of 800 points were planned on my 4x4 table everything was setup to get some decent data. The dicegods, ever fickle, had other plans...

The first game terrans vs sorylians in the waypoints scenario proceeded as expected in the first turn. The terrans bombarded the sorylians and got some good hits in early on, the sorylians however had plenty of reserves. Those reserves all arrived at the start of turn 2 shunting in right next to the terran backline. Things were looking grim, but it got worse when the sorylians captured the initiative and destroyed most of my list cruisers. Not to be outdone however the remaining terran ships loaded special ammunition and from that point on half of all the dice i rolled were sixes, completely unbelievable. It got so bad that my harpoons launched a 12 dice torpedo salvo and doublecrittet a sorylian battleship with an astounding 23 successes to which his shield only negated 1. The game was practically over at that point, my luck however was not...

Ind the middle of turn 2 rigth after my harpoons decided to nuke the laws of probability, my new taskforce order got delivered several days earlier than expected. The next game was promptly cancelled so that we could enjoy our new goddies. 

Now because of my insane luck our data got a bit weak. We did make these opservations on the terran ships though. 

Perseus: we both found that the light cruisers had good damage output especially at long range compared to its cost if the turrets are used. It pays in the defense department though and folds like wet tissues if they get caught up in a brawl. They are pretty fast and have open fores and broadsides. Excellent flank runners and a welcome new addition to the terran line up. No changes were suggested. 

Harpoon: Strong torps with torpedo spook, nuke/decimator and any arcs are a dangerous combo. The shield hardpoint also makes them quite though. They have open fores and decent dice on their lasers. I felt they were a strong choice for the points, but with weaknesses as well. My opponent felt they were a bit to strong when brawling because of the open fores and ok dice.

No specific changes were suggested but my opponent felt they could be more specialized on using torps instead of being god at torps and decent at defending itself.

I feel something has to be done with the hardpoint setup. As it is now the shield hardpoint are a very strong all round choice. Sure its excellent for long range sector shielding but its also quite good at keeping you safe from close range retaliation. Id choose the shield over the turrets if i expected to get into a brawl solely because they are both cheaper and strong enough to give me an edge up close. Its just such a safe all round bet, and i dont like my hardpoints like that.

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My final take on these ships - I used all but the perseus (but will give my view on it anyway !)

Harpoon

Very strong torpedoes and can hit out with two sets of beams at the same enemy squad (unusual for terrans) with versatile upgrades (though the shield is the obvious one of planning to hide and lob torpedoes) though turrets and stealth with its speed is a nice combo too. It can get very expensive for a fully upgraded squad and really needs the shields to do well to survive especially when closing and engaging with beams. In all very happy with this ship but wouldn't want it to cost any more as srs heavy fleets or stealth fleets can easily nullify its torpedoes and its not a brilliant brawler for its points

Perseus

Sadly didn't use this one but will do in the future - the only thing that I wouldn't use is the weopon shielding upgrade as it does very little for the points spent. Other than that I am happy with this one too

Wayfarer

Nice little medium between the armsmen and missionary. Would fight both for a place in my lists. Like it as it is :)

Hope this helps

Azrael

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So I just played a game with Harpoons(Shields, Spook, Nukes) and they were totally ineffective. I was playing against Works Raptor but even within 20" they didn't even hit once with torps or beams. Opponent made effective use of terrain as I expect anyone would, and was able to nullify them completely.

 

At first glance I thought they could use a points increase but after using them, I think they are fine where they are. WR is naturally resistant to such shenanigans as the Harpoon but they didn't fare well even in optimum position for 2-3 arcs of direct fire with torps on top.

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Played a game today against reddwarf using all three new Terran ships.  Here is my assessment (I’m sure he’ll chime in later):

 

Harpoon Torpedo Cruiser:  Solid Gold.  I played with the Turret, Torpedo Spook, and Nuclear Torpedoes and it kicked tail.  Turn 1 and 2 both killed half a squadron of Directorate Impacts because you only need to be a little lucky to Crit them with 12 or 14 AD of Torpedo Spook.  At the same time I was using my 6 AD Minimum guns plus Turrets to plink away at the Directorate Carrier.  I would have to say this ship is a little too good with the Turret.  The guns firepower is better than a Cruiser squadron with the full Fore Arc Beams and Turrets.

 

Perseus Light Cruiser: Good Budget Option.  I played 2 Perseus with Turret along with a Harpoon with Turret.  Unlike many of the other New Cruiser options, there is actually a decent amount of synergy here.  140 Points without upgrades, these guys can put out as much (if not more) firepower against 1 target at longer range than stock Teutons, equal torpedoes, and target two ships in a squadron thanks to the full Fore arc.  They have less resilient that real cruisers, but they allowed me to jam in an extra squadron.  Three Turret Perseus are probably a pretty decent cheap Tier 2 also, if having weaker torpedoes.

 

Wayfarer Light Frigates:  Solid.  While lacking the raw power of Missionaries or one-two punch of Armsmen, the Wayfarer has good firepower with the resiliency of numbers.  It will be a good addition to Terran fleets.

 

Specific Notes:

 

Sector Shielding (all): While very Terran, all this sector shielding is a nightmare for efficient play.  I had a 800 point Fleet with 16 ships with Sector Shielding (only the battleship lacked it).  Imagine all the tokens!  Maybe skip this MAR and give them Shield Projector (Self) or Weapon Shielding to speed play.

 

Turrets [Harpoon and Perseus]: These gave the ships excellent firepower in one direction along with minimum of 6 AD when fully linked, but made attack calculations a time-consuming chore, specially when the ships started taking damage when you combine with the three full arcs of fire.  I would suggest either dropping the Turrets and upping the AD slightly or going the Marshal route and giving the ships a single turret with the ability to purchase a duplicate.  Either way simplifies the calculations which will make both players happier.

 

Reinforced (Fore) [Perseus]: I look at the model and don’t get this one.  What’s so reinforced about the front of the Perseus?  Not to mention the weapon load out makes you not want to point your Fore at the enemy, rather split the squadron between your Fore and Port/Starboard weapon systems.  I say drop.

 

14 AD Nuclear Torpedo Spook [Harpoon]:  Can you say too good? The Marshall only manages 13 AD within 12 Inches.  The Harpoon gets this from 36” to 48”.  It’s not friendly to start a game with this sort of firepower.  No suggestion on how to fix, but ouch!

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Alextroy, it sounds like your opponent cooperated heavily in their own downfall by deploying (and apparently staying?) in nuclear coherency.  Perhaps they didn't take much extra PD either?  My typical opponents have figured out that torpedoes are a big part of the Terran fleet and take preventative measures.  I'm lucky to get anything meaningful out of them these days, even with the Harpoons.  

I agree with your sentiments on the Perseus Reinforced Fore, and the Sector Shielding.  

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I've played a lot of games of 2.0 the last few years--I don't think I've ever seen a single squadron dominate a game like the Harpoons did today.  They killed 8 of 12 Impacts, 1 gunship, 1.5 of 3 Champions, and roughly half the damage done to my carrier.  Basically 2/3rd of all damage done in a game that saw my entire fleet save one gunship destroyed, was done by the Harpoon squadron.  The only thing the other Terran squadrons had to do was get in the way and suck damage while these things nuked a squadron a turn.  Alextroy mentioned the Marshal, let me count the ways Harpoons are better:

 

1) More AD in the torpedo volleys.

2)  48" range with that AD--Marshals have to close giving you a chance to shoot at them.  These guys start nuking on turn 1 and never have to stop.

3) No special maneuvering or linking required (Harpoons any arc, Marshalls have to link to S/P).  Makes them way easier to use since you simply don't care about anything except range--arcs and terrain are irrelevant.

4) Significantly cheaper (210 pts for Spooked Nuclear Harpoons, vs 280 for Spooked Nuclear Marshals).  Yes the Marshals have other advantages.  Who cares.

 

I see only 3 responses.

1) Play Works Raptor--your whole fleet having Stealth is basically the only thing that slows them down.  Elusive, cloak, interceptors, gas clouds...none of them did a bit of good for me.  Alas, most of us don't play Works Raptor.

2) Bring two good sized interceptor tokens so your fleet can stay fully covered even during movement (one token isn't enough).  Available to anyone, at a huge defensive point sink and causes a forced opponent tactic and fleet build.  Also doesn't help when Terrans win initiative on turn 1 (like they did today) before you can launch wings.   You have to deploy clustered if you want to create an interceptor PD bubble, but can't start with wings out.

3) Turn every movement phase into a extra-long time-sinking exercise in measuring movement so your ships end up more than 4" apart but in coherency.  Not particularly fun, and tends to seriously degrade your attack capability to boot since you can't maneuver to maximize AD.

 

Sorry, I hate to say it, but these guys are simply broken.  Any Terran player who doesn't max out his squadrons of them in every mission and at every point level is basically handicapping himself  They are the best tier 2 ship available (point for point, I think the best ship in the game).  Either your opponent bases his entire fleet build and tactical movement around mitigating them (limiting him in every other way), or they simply dominate the board by hitting whatever squadron is temporarily out of interceptor coverage (due to movement) or (horrors!) actually maneuvered to shoot rather than dodge and thus end up within 4". 

 

Daeghrefn--I play against Terrans all the time and certainly know how to handle their high levels of torp firepower.  But 14AD Spook Nukes out to 48" is something else entirely.  Sure I can build my entire fleet and base all my tactics around mitigating them, but that's going to get pretty boring in a hurry.

 

My VERY strong suggestion is to remove Nuke or Spook as an option.  Personally I'd prefer they keep Spook, but the full combo of high AD at range, any arc, nuke, and spook is insane.

 

Little to say about the Perseus and Wayfarer.  Wayfarers seem fine as an undergunned but overprotected Missionary.  The Perseus were "fiddly."  By that I mean that I've learned to dislike Missionaries not because they are great, but because the weapons layout makes the player spend a huge amount of time on their turns to plan the best moves to maximize AD across 3 weapon systems (fore, one side, and turret).  When you've got different AD at RB1 vs RB2 plus one system that has the most AD at RB1 and the other RB2..it's just boring to play against because the game screeches to a halt every time it's their turn.  With the free turret, the Perseus is basically just an oversized Missionary with all the same problems.  I don't think they are OP or anything, I just don't like them.  I would at least make the turret and S/P prefer the same range bands.

 

Just my opinion, of course,

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Wow, wish I could have seen that game, it must really have been interesting!  How many points were you guys running?  In about half a dozen games with them so far (mostly at patrol fleet levels) I have yet to see them do more than cripple a T3 early in the game.  Against Directorate, usually Annihilators or gravity weapon Champions make a beeline for them and start double-critting pretty fast.  

Had another game today; it started off with the Harpoons killing 2 of 4 Liquidator Frigates that started too close together.  Next turn I tried their hand at one of the Planetfall battle carriers with 3 Interceptors nearby; the combined 11 PD was enough to bring my 14 dice spooked nukes down to DR after the shields.  Every other squadron the torpedoes feel like an afterthought; barely worth tossing the dice unless it's at a crippled target.  Harpoons have a decent chance of making some damage stick without needing to be in knife range to do it.  

 

The dynamic of Torpedo Spook is extremely unreliable.  A disturbingly high number of times my opponents reroll their successes and wind up with more than they had, due to replacing a couple 4s and 5s with a six.  I would be happier if it allowed the attacking dice pool to reroll misses.  :)

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It was a 800 Point Patrol Fleet.  I had an Apollo, 3 Turret, Torpedo Spook, Nuclear Harpoons, 2 Turret Perseus with Turret Harpoon, 6 Wayfarers, and 4 Missionaries.  He had a Overseer with +2 Wings, +2 Command, 6 Bombers and 2 Interceptors, 2 maxed out Annihilation gunships, 3 Gravity Champions, and 2 squadrons of 6 Impacts.  Except for the Impacts getting neutered at the top Turns 1 and 2 and being basically irrelevant, his ships performed decently if not well. 

 

Torpedo Spook and Stealth Systems will have those problem from time to time, but the overall effect will be lots less effective PD from the opponent.  Shooting at an 11 PD Battlecarrier and getting any damage at all is actually a good result. All I can say is you should always target the weakest available target with Nuclear Torpedo Spook.  If you want to see explosions.  Or skip the nukes for Decimator and then you don't have to worry about how much they spread their ships out.

 

As for the Harpoon, my one game with them says the Turret is the better Hardpoint.  More firepower is good.  6 AD at 40"against an Impeded Target is excellent.  Minimum of 6 AD as long as you have three ships is a little bonkers.

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I'd increase the cost of the Turrets to 10 points on the Harpoon, driving up the Turret, Torpedo Spook, Nuclear Harpoon to 80 each or 240 for full squadron of 3.  It would be more expensive than a fully tooled up Teuton, which I feel it is better than.

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I wouldn't necessarily mind the turrets going up, but keeping it at 210 for just spooky nukes seems like the right place to me.  That is already pushing the limit for what I would pay on our Tier 2's, which are relatively easy to eliminate with a double crit.  

Reducing the capabilities would mean allying in the Terquai Makalu would be a better value for a pure torpedo cruiser; increasing the price by much more would make it better to just take another Tier 1.  

 

Keeping it less capable than the Sentinel on the gunnery front seems reasonable.

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I'm really not a fan of adjusting cost as balancing factor when the ship is just ostensibly better than the alternatives. If it's 10pts more than the next best thing, I will still take it every time. The game really does, especially in T2's, value quality over quantity.

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I'm with you, Pok. I'd rather see the Harpoon with a little more Beams (just 1 AD in each RB it has at least 1 AD and up the ship to 60 points base) and no Turret option than it being a little more expensive with the Turret option. That would make it less 'better' than the cruiser and eliminate the slower gameplay caused by the additional weapon system you need to link in to be effective.

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What about removing the turret option altogether but otherwise leaving it as is?  Let it specialize into the torpedo cruiser role, and require some babysitting from another squadron for when enemies close the distance.  

Let the Harpoon "just" be good at torpedoes, leaving us the Sentinel as a mixed role gun/torpedo platform. 

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Interesting discussion, a T2 Terran ship that genuinely looks powerful (maybe too much, hard to measure based on mixed responses), and we are trying to alter it so the Teuton isn't left in the cold.

Which begs the question is the Harpoon at fault? Are we looking at the right ship?

For example how would some of this pan out if the following hypothetical were true:

Teutons have base SH2, lose SH hardpoint (no cost change).

Or

One of the 3 upgrades was on the base ship for no cost.

Just a thought exercise as there seems to be a fairly common view that the Teuton needs help.

A ship can look too good when other options are below par.

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While far from best in class, the Teuton is a decent cruiser.  I use a squadron nearly every game.  I often fully upgrade them, too.  I have never been disgusted by their performance.  They shoot.  They hurt things.  Then they die like cruisers do.  But at the same cost the Harpoon is better.

 

IMHO there is no reason to take a Harpoon without Torpedo Spook.  It makes the Torpedo attack so much more potent, even if you leave off Nuclear or Decimator Warheads (and why would you when they cost 5 points?).  So that is minimal cost of 65 points.  Nukes/Decimator and turret are 5 points each.

 

The typical 65 point Teuton is +1 HP and Weapon Shielding. Nuclear Torpedoes are and additional 5 points, just like on the Harpoon.  Beams are 5 points, which helps you catch up with direct weapon range with the Harpoon.

 

Compared to the Teuton, the Harpoon now has 1 less HP, 2 less AP, and 1 less CP.  However, if you take the Turret you can throw one attack with the squadron that is at least as good as a Teuton with the Beams upgrade (even damaged as the 6 weapons systems ensures you get at least 5 dice from the link pool).  The full Fore arc weapon means it is much easier for the Harpoon to set up a second target especially on win the same squadron as the primary target.  Other than being a bit less resilient to damage, the Harpoon is out direct weapon shooting the cruiser while having a vastly better Torpedo attack for the same points!

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I'm really not a fan of adjusting cost as balancing factor when the ship is just ostensibly better than the alternatives. If it's 10pts more than the next best thing, I will still take it every time. The game really does, especially in T2's, value quality over quantity.

So how would you prefer to adjust the Harpoon?

Personally, I think the best game design philosophy is to build a stat-profile players want to use (as clearly people like the Harpoon's capabilities), and then adjust one thing until players are on the fence about the utility within the game. Points are the easiest to adjust; much like adjusting price for a good or service.

Of course, this only works now because there is an existing baseline which hasn't had any price fluctuations in almost two years...

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I believe that getting the Terran Tier 2's in a good place will involve adjustments to original ships at some point for true harmonous balance.  As Ryjak said above, making sure the Harpoon isnt too overwhelming that it sucks the oxygen out of that 210pt space it will likely be fighting for.  

Whether thats done by points or some other light changes, either could accomplish this.  I for instance agree with some statements that the stat profile on the Teuton is quite acceptable, its very comparible to Cruisers and ships across the game, its just that it has the unfortunate distinction of costing 70-75pts when you are done with it, which is an exaggeration on what it should currently be.

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I think people are getting too hung up on the Harpoon's 7AD in RB4 as It's hard to stay in torpedo RB4 for more than the first 2ish turns on a 4'x4' table. Even so, those couple turns are scary and the spook gives them a chance to do their thing even on a healthy squadron.

I know Terran torps characteristically have "that" profile but what if it exchanged it's bigger RB4 salvo for something else or just lost it completely?

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