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S.Neil

Discussion Thread for the new Relthoza Model Stats

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Just two more questions, (to see if I understand you correctly):

On the light cruiser you get mobility and great toughness for the points you pay, so you can... have an insignificant impact exactly where and when when you want it for a bargain price (but also a T2 slot)? Am I right to assume that the Iramon is designed to be an objective sitter and/or simply an activation which the opponent won’t likely bother as it doesn’t seem to do too much to him?
If so they are excellent ships for Recover Resources,  Hold the Waypoints, and the defender side of Capture the Station and Ambush (provided the players know what scenario and side they play before the fleet selection).

My second question is that if the (typical) Relthoza fleet has the need and/or the resources for this kind of unit in missions other than these? If you have the points in situations excluding the above missions would you take a squad of Iramon or a squad of Frigates?
 

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The light cruiser and to some extent the gunship exist in a awkward position where you cant really decide which weapon system is the primary one. Both have ok ad, but nothing more. That makes it really hard to figure out when to droap your cloak, since you only gain so much firepower and on the other hand their firepower is gets pretty weak if you lose a ship. This makes you want to use the shunt matrix to avoid direct confrontations, but the forefixed weapons only allow "bungee" jumping if you want to shot with them the same turn. Which makes it even harder to decide when to droap cloaks and if you want to hang back, or move forward.
It all adds up to one tricky to use ship, which i guess is very relthoza, but perhaps something a bit more straightforward would have been better. 

Im going to test these guys out to see if i can get a hang of them. Please report back if you gain any insight on how to use them during your games ;)

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I would probably play the gunships in a list with destroyers effectively doubling the number of destroyers a Relthoza player can field.

I think Sorylian tactics lean their ships to act like most people expect cruisers to act, with Dindrenzi they seem like different versions of gunships, it makes sense Relthoza ships will act like different versions of Destroyers shoot and hide is thematic for them.

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Mine are slated to arrive on monday. I'm going to try a list out and see if I can't cram an Ootheca, a Shunt Hive with Banes, a squad each of the new ships, and some Nidus in 1000 points.

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Just two more questions, (to see if I understand you correctly):

On the light cruiser you get mobility and great toughness for the points you pay, so you can... have an insignificant impact exactly where and when when you want it for a bargain price (but also a T2 slot)? Am I right to assume that the Iramon is designed to be an objective sitter and/or simply an activation which the opponent won’t likely bother as it doesn’t seem to do too much to him?

If so they are excellent ships for Recover Resources,  Hold the Waypoints, and the defender side of Capture the Station and Ambush (provided the players know what scenario and side they play before the fleet selection).

My second question is that if the (typical) Relthoza fleet has the need and/or the resources for this kind of unit in missions other than these? If you have the points in situations excluding the above missions would you take a squad of Iramon or a squad of Frigates?

 

 

I think the Erigone are probably easier to fit into lists than the Iramon.  Sometimes the TIer 2 squadron is a competitive position and you really will want a more dominant activation in your Tier 2 squadron.  This means you might forgo using the Iramon in some lists. 

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So, I put together a list to sort of showcase the three new squadrons. I don't really want to hamstring their potential, but at the same time I wanted to put all of the new ships in, and particularly compare and contrast with Banes... This list is weird. It's not what I'd normally play, not by a wiiiiiide margin. I'm not sure how I feel about it.

 

T1

Hive Carrier –  295

Base- 125

Stealth Systems- 10

Shunt Matrix (4)- 20

6 Bombers- 30

Accompaniment-2x Bane Shunt Cruiser- 110

Base- 110

 

T2

3x Virulence Gunship – 195

Base- 195

Stealth Systems- FREE

 

3x Bane Shunt Cruiser- 165

Base- 165

 

3x Iramon Light Cruiser – 105

Base- 105

Stealth Systems- FREE

 

T3

6x Erigone Light Frigate – 120

Base- 120

 

6x Erigone Light Frigate – 120

Base- 120

 

 

 

I guess the plan is to sit back and throw torpedoes, Erigones sitting under the Hive's System Network bubble, until the enemy fleet gets midway down the table, then jump forward and try to mess up as many of their ships as I can. I might switch the Bombers for Fighters just to try and use Split Berth to reach outside of the SS bubble. Everything HAS Torpedoes, some have really good ones... We'll see what happens.

 

Torpedoes and jumping around and no Corrosive. I feel like I'm gonna be in for a loooooong game, whenever it is I get the chance to use this.

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Interesting list Hive although I feel a interceptor token or two would ruin your day.

 

How about this?

 

Dred

6 bombers

corrosive

maneuverable

+2 AP

Point Defense Barrage

 

3 Heavy Cruisers

corrosive

 

2 Destroyers

corrosive

 

2 Ba'Kash Cruisers

1 Ba'Kash Heavy Cruiser

 

3 Icineumnon Frigates

Cloak

 

6 Light frigates

 

 

 

the frigates huddle in a corner somewhere and try to hit RB4 torps and give up almost no BL

Destroyers probably go into reserve to shunt in behind something

 

everything else globs up and heads towards something that needs killing

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This is the combo that I was waiting for people to point out. :)

 

Well done

Thanks, for less than 200 points you cover your Tier 3 and put them in a position to not give up points. I only wish the Ichis had point defense barrage or something that let them protect themselves

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So. Yesterday I managed to bribe my buddy to test the new ships (he asked for my firstborn, but fortunately settled for a beer). He doesn’t have too much FSA experience, so he borrowed my aquans and made me help him to beat myself up. He’s like that you know ;) I finally settled for a „monster mash” list with the new gunships integrated for support and distraction.

 

I brought:

BB with 2 frigates

BB with 1 frigate

3 Heavy Cruiser

3 Gunship

2 Frigates (Widows)

2 Frigates (Widows, regrouped at the beginning)

3 Ba’Kash cruiser

 

He settled for

BB

Heavy carrier (DT with 2 sulis)

2 Gunships

4 Cruisers (DT)

4 Frigates

6 Corvettes (reserved)

 

I’ll try to get some pics uploaded later, but the table had ~25% terrain coverage, with asteroids, debris fields, the odd gas cloud, and one planetoid.

 

We settled for Border clash for simplicity’s sake, and deployed centrally with Virulances on one flank opposed by the Shivas, T1s in the center, Sharnaks and Storms on the other flank.

I tried to take some  notes, but I don’t wanna drag this out long, so I’ll concentrate on the Virulances. Turn one, they waited until the Shivas move, shot at them with their main guns (10AD, the Ba’Kash cruisers were handled by the Storms), but sent their torpedoes for the frigates (and failed properly at both, DT and Stealth really helps) dropped cloak, and they managed to score a hit (12AD vs 2 shields) too. Good. (My 8 torpedoes did nothing though, 5 PD and 2 shields did stop them without breaking a sweat)

The big boys were playing it safe for the time being, so nothing interesting there.

 

T2

The virulances tried to bungee-chord backwards to maintain stealth, (move forward max (to the 20-22 distance interval, and then jumped backwards)  maintained coherency, but one of them jumped too much, so it was left out of the beaming goodness. So 9AD for the aquan gunship, and it managed to reduce a hit to nothing with the two shields. The torpedoes again did score a hit (but not a crit... damn DT) this time to the approaching aquan frigates.

In retaliation The Shivas closed in easily covering the stealth barrier for two of the Virulances, and unleashed the main guns (13AD) and the torpedoes (9AD) on one, and one of the side guns (9AD)  on the other. The main guns easily critted the closest, the side guns barely, but still also critted the second (all it really takes is 3 sixes...), knocking the second ones PD offline, so it didn’t contribute any PD to the first, and the third was out of it’s command distance. So the torpedoes had an easy ride and promptly destroyed the first.

On the other flank, the Storms were beginning to get the upper hand on the Sharnaks, and the T1-s were getting ready to the bloodbath, with a few HP knocked off here and there, but generally still intact.


T3

To add insult to injury, the aquan frigates managed to get a side shot (8AD) in while murderizing the Widows on their other side, knocking an other HP off, so I decided it was time for them to make an exit with dignity. Cloaked, jumped back as far as I could, and  started up the FSD. Unfortunately it was not to be, as a parting gift their pals the shivas (now not so intact thanks to my heavy cruisers) sent them 9AD worth of torpedoes), and after the rerolls there were still 2 sixes in the pool, so I bid farewell to the second one too.

At the end of this turn, the Sharnaks and the virulances were in process of escaping (it didn’t look good for the Ba’kash), but the Aquan T1s were in quite in a bad shape, as were the Widows. The Relthoza big boys were in the process of unleashing the goodness, the snappers were still in reserves, so to be honest, it still could have gone either way.

 

Sadly we had to call it at this point, but the purpose was served, the new toy of the Relthoza was put to a test. So.

 

 

The good:

There is not much that cannot be shot at in turn one, is they can find line of sight.

The Fixed arc is not that restrictive, if there is space to shunt backwards, or you risk to shunt forwards (as if I recall correctly the orientation can be selected during the battleshunt)

The ships are really painfully hard to get a hold of if they are benefiting from stealth and DT.

The models will be awesome (if they arrive, but sadly I still have to wait until the new planetfall stuff comes in)

The torpedoes might be better up close, and while there the hull is still relatively fragile,  getting in knife fight range is something I would maybe try late in game, if the squad is relatively unhurt. ( But then again I probably could do well late game with any relatively unhurt squad with or without torpedoes.)

 

 

The Bad:

Relatively easily neutered:

I think the idea is, that the squadron is worth 200 points, because it consistently pours out that 12AD and maybe some (corrosive) torpedoes. The reality was, that it wasn’t that hard to close that 20” distance. If after that T2 strike by the aquan gunships everyone could have left them alone, they would have still pumped out 7-8AD worth of beams (depending on if I would have cloaked the crippled ship), that reliably plinks a cruiser a turn, and 6AD worth of torpedoes which are... not so impressive, even if corrosive, even in the endgame.

Better alternatives:

So. They effectively have one arc they are useful in, and the maximum amount of AD they have in that arc pales in comparison with the counterparts other fleets can bring for the same points (or even the ones Relthoza can ally in to be honest...).  The Ba’Kash cruisers were torn apart, but they did so much more for me in this game for cheaper (or for the same price if I took with weapon shielding),

Weapon arcs:

I get it, that the point would be to focus on one ship, crit it (or try to knock down PD with targeted strikes), and further soften it with torpedoes. But (at least in this game) I didn’t find this terribly effective, at least not with these AD values. Somehow its mediocre AD, single arc weapon systems  with no other utility to contribute didn’t cut it this time. And I don’t really mean it wasn’t cost effective, as it probably was (it could have at least partially held up a same costed squadron of gunships for maybe two turns, if one of the squad wasn’t destroyed so early thanks to multi-arc aquan weapon systems, but there you have it. Aquans... :D ), but still, it didn’t feel like it could really cut it in the role I feel it is intended for it. Of course I might be completely wrong about it though :)

Possible improvements/solutions I have thought about (and are not sure about at all) :

There (not being a game designer) I struggle.

If I wanted to use it as I think it was intended to be used (see above), The problems I see are the following:

Lowering the points:

I don’t think points are problematic. Rather the „bang for your buck”... Also it would also contest the Bane’s at or near its point level :P

 

The Beam AD gets increased in one rangeband:

Only RB1:

The more... „lackluster” AD in other arcs it may turn into a primarily knife-fighter, trying to jump to rear arcs, where the Fore (fixed) arc and the lower Shunt Matrix value might restrict them, resulting in a wide variety of situations where it performs too good or too bad, while the long range support role would be probably less prominent...

 

Only RB2:

It would probably contest the Bane’s role. But would maybe discourage the enemy from closing in a bit...

 

Only RB3:

Rewards static play on an extremely mobile platform

All rangebands:

While it would be a better ship for it’s intended role. It might still contest the bane’s role, but the higher cost, the different role and the corrosive weapon option could still leave a place for it, provided this improvement comes with a small price increase (not quite heavy cruiser level price, as this ship can be too fragile for that).

Pack hunters (as an upgrade as stealth systems is really necessary for survival maybe if the hardpoint limit is raised... it could provide interesting combinations with pack hunters and higher shunt values, but that could get realllly expensive, on this now flimsy hull) could also be a solution for this, as it solves most of this ship's problems, while raising the points cost, but it’s not been seen on a Relthoza ship before, so I’m not sure it will happen (even though I like this one the most).

Adding utility:

Mines:

Mines on a shunting ship can be bonkers...

 

Systems network:

I don’t think these will be stealthed most of the time, but could be useful for escorting/babysitting frigates.

 

This got really long, so thanks for everyone that is still with me. I’ll try to get more games in to further test these hatchlings, but so far I could have been more impressed to be honest.
 

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I'm really pleased to see how we now have really interesting versatility in our T2 and T3 choices. We are still lacking some variation in T1 but this open real new possibility for fleet building. I'm especially fond of the new frigate, as I've always wondering why a stealth-heavy race like the Relthoza does'nt have any destroyer-like torpedoe ship.

 

I'm planning a 1200 pts game against Aquan this week end, I'll try to put new ships in both fleets and give feedback.

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The Relthoza T3 is a nifty new thing, and it brings something Relthoza actually lack, a long range engager, so that is appreciable. Virluence.. it's a gunship that really doesn't feel like it is deserving of the designation as it really lacks the firepower gunships usually get, and there are just better options for it and as others have pointed out, getting a Bane is probably just better choice. The Light cruiser I REALLY don't like.. because it is dirt cheap, but it's pretty naff for a T2 slot even if it is dirt cheap. The only 2 reasons I can see to take it are A: I have 105pts left, and a T2 slot, and I don't have any T3 slots left to take or B: I want the cheapest possible T2 filler so that I can max out on T1s and T3s.. and those are both incredibly sucky gamey reason to give for taking a ship honestly.

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I like the Virulence, even if it does seem schizophrenic at times. Maybe it should be redesignated as a shunt cruiser then? Gunships tend to be a little tougher too (trend is either more HP, better CR, or both from my skimming).

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Well... The big tendency of Gunships is to either have weapons the rest of the fleet doesn't have, or have weapons arranged atypically for the fleet, or both. Dindtenzi Gunships have powerful side arcs, Aquan and Sorylian play Destroyer with long-range and forward focused guns, and such. I don't the find it unusual for a uniquely armed ship to fall into that category; certainly, I think you COULD justify a Destroyer or Shunt Cruiser label, but its weird "same AD accross 30 inches" front gun is a fairly defining feature.

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Ok guys, second round in testing the Virulence. We tried to follow the guidelines Balor has left over at the Dindrenzi thread, so we switched sides, and my (less experienced) buddy got to command the Relthoza, and I opposed him (while still giving him advice, where I thought it would be necessary). Instead of taking aquans though (as they are really on the top of the pecking order, and comparing them with any other fleet might distort the results), I took my RSN+Ba’Kash Zenian fleet to get hopefully more useful results. At least so we hoped. I also try to leave here as much (or more) data as I think it is necessary to evaluate the gunships, and if there’s more detail than that... I’ll let the devs sort it out (and prepare for a lot of scrolling down) ;)


The Relthoza fleet (1200 pts) was a bit lighter than last time:


1 Nexus battleship with 2 frigate escort

1 Hive carrier (no escorts or shunt matrix)

3 Huntsman heavy cruiser

3 Virulence gunship

4 Widow frigate

4 Widow frigate (reserved)

2 allied Directorate Nemesis Destroyer


The Destroyers were my idea, as they are my go to unit to fulfill the role, that I feel the virulence might aim for in relthoza fleets, so they’ll share the focus as a counterpart.


The RSN took:


1 Spectre battleship with a Cerberus Heavy cruiser escort

3 Spook cruisers

4 Bulwark frigates (reserved)

4 Bulwark frigates (reserved)

3 Ba’Kash Sharnak cruiser with weapon shielding

3 Ba’Kash Varnak heavy cruiser with weapon shielding


Nothing special here, but I kept an eye on two units in particular: the Sharnaks and the Spooks being similar in points.

 

The table was really similar to last time(asteroids, debris fields and gas clouds), but this time here’s the pic of the deployment (sorry about the quality though).

Both fleets deployed extremely defensively (using terrain) except the RSN BB, what intended to be a bait, the Relthoza didn’t take.

 

post-5239-0-92441200-1457359197_thumb.jp


T1


Nothing really happened here, the Zenian boys kept hugging terrain and every squadron in gas clouds failed every disorder check (except the spooks because elite crew is good for this).

So in the beginning the eyes were on the Virulence and the Nemesis destroyers being long range support.

 

The Nemesis destroyers were deployed in a gas cloud, and were camping happily failing disorder checks and not caring about it. They were one of the two units, that managed to do something in turn one: plink a Ba’Kash heavy cruiser (9AD), while spreading AD4 mines around their comfy little gas cloud (the other was the carrier hitting a Ba’Kash cruiser with it’s 7AD torps). They enjoyed an interceptor cover, in practically a difficult target stealth systems combo, and a reinforced fore, so nobody even tried to touch them.

 

The Virulences deployed on a flank to be able to operate individually from the rest of the fleet, taking shots to anything that presents an acceptable target. This plan was largely foiled by the Sharnaks deploying directly in front of them (behind a debris field). He tried to check, If he could hit the Spectre’s Heavy cruiser accompaniment, and while the squadron could get in range, the terrain, the 1”TL and the 7” MV and the Fore (fixed) arc didn’t make it possible to line up all 3 of the shots unimpeded  without using battle shunt. Using battle shunt wouldn’t have been better, as the terrain possibly would have blocked the shots anyway, and the Sharnaks would have got into the stealth bubble without breaking sweat. Instead they moved minimum distance, stayed cloaked, tried to shoot their guns az the sharnaks (3AD - firing stealthed through debris field with no result; 8AD torps – PD got it without a problem)

 

In the end phase the Nemesis destroyers passed their disorder check, but no other squadron did.

 

 

T2

No reserves came in. And seemingly nothing kept happening on other parts of the board, except everything moved into position for the seemingly inevitable T3 bloodbath.

The „focus group” was quite busy though.


The Nemesis destroyers were really happy to make their disorder checks, pooped a 6 AD mine (now effectively sealing the flank from shunting frigates) moved up a bit, and linked 13 AD of beams to crit the Spectre’s heavy cruiser escort (killing a crew and leaving a hazard marker)

 

The virulences were taken by surprise, as all 3 of the Sharnaks managed to move within 16”, (though only barely), so scatter coherence effect kicked in, but they were still cloaked, so their effect was limited by that. Still, 8AD of scatter did crit one, (killing a crew and leaving a hazard marker) 10 AD of torps on the same got neutralized by PD, and 6AD of beams did a hit on an other. Ideally as an answer to this atrocity they would have jumped over the cruisers at this point to shoot them in their vulnerable arc, but the mine the Ba'Kash left behind made this a less than tempting option. So they moved within 10” and unleashed everything on the damaged cruiser: 10 AD of beams almost duoblecrit it (-d3CP -> -2CP), but the 12AD torp was reduced to a simple hit by the PD, leaving the cruiser at 1 HP, which was an unfortunate turn of events for the Virulences.

 

T3

Unfortunately with taking notes and photos 3 turns seems to be the limit we can manage in one night (next time I probably shouldn’t write down every AD and every result in every firing arc), but it turned out, this was enough to witness everything we were curious about (spoilers).


Eyes were on the initiative roll (neither of us bought the Intel Gathered TAC card), and the superior Fleet Tactics Bonus won the RSN the initiative (also the double ones the Relthoza managed to roll really helped).

Every reserve came in and they arranged themselves in a mexican standoff on the opposite flank (from the virulences).


The Sharnaks closed their retractable plating, and (as expected) casually left a 10AD mine in between the Virulences, and got in position to attempt to maneuver between the Relthoza mines next turn.  The side beams (7AD) managed to put a hit in the Relthoza Heavy cruisers rear arc, and 9 AD worth of torpedoes aimed at a frigate got shot down by the interceptors.


On the other parts of the table the frigate standoff started to resolve, everyone got their first battlelog, the Relthoza big boys jumped the Spectre, (which got away surprisingly well with only a hit and a crit from ungodly amounts of ammunition and srs thrown at it (I’ve never seen PD shoot down this many bombers ever).

 

One Nemesis was Critted by a Bulwark (10 AD) (they also failed their disorder check). They made a 360° circle pooping 2x4AD mines in the midst of the bunched up and weakened bulwarks, They shot the Spectre’s heavy cruiser escort for 9 and 7 AD, and scored 2 hits (leaving it at 1 HP), plus shot 2x4AD of torpedoes to the Bulwarks, failing to do anything.  The (still) disordered Ba’Kash heavy cruisers didn’t find a better target within their reach, so they shot at them, triple critting (sooo many sixes) the already injured with the first scatter weapon hit (3x8AD and 3x8 torps were aimed on it), and scoring a single hit on the intact with their beams (3x4AD).

 

The Virulences did what they could (taking the 10AD mines and the resulting 3 Crits as gracefully as they could destroying one, leaving one at 1 HP+security at disarray and one at 2 HP and -2CP, also it left me pondering, why didn't I assault them), and they limped in a nearby gas cloud charging their FSD (we also noticed later, that they would have detonated an other mine too, but we didn’t notice it, as it was too late at that point).

 

The game was at an interesting position at this point, with the things looking slightly better for the Relthoza, but the RSN wasn’t completely hopeless at this point (with 3 effective T2 squadrons circling in).

 

post-5239-0-47798600-1457359206_thumb.jp

 

The virulences fared better than I expected them, but If I compare them to the nemesis, they did a little bit better at their role for cheaper (they gave a battlelog up though).

They made me dedicate a squad for dealing with them (costing exactly the same), and they didn’t manage to deal with that which (I think) was caused by their restricted arcs. They were really neutered early on with proper terrain usage, and dealt with later with multi arc weaponry, so their weaknesses were moderately easy to exploit. Not every unit could have done it though, and they soaked up every stray torpedo and potshot that was thrown to them, which is really good, but one turn of dedicated attention made them fold. I don’t know, if with a more bold tactic they would have handled the threat of the Sharnaks better (not trying to stay in stealth, but charging and trying to take the enemy from behind).

To be perfectly honest, I was planning to use the bulwarks to shunt in and handle both of the Virulence and the Nemesis squadron, and Use the Sharnaks only as a threat, and go for the heavy cruisers with them. The Directorate destroyers however built their nest so well, that it made it really hard to proceed with that plan, and the Virulences gave an excellent  opportunity for the Sharnaks, while not forcing them to deviate from their planned course.


In summary: they fared ok, but they could still use something to solidify the squad. When compared to the smaller nemesis squadron, they both folded by the dedicated attention of a medium squad, but the utility of the nemesis did much more on the field (for less points), because the focused nature of the virulence. My opponent was considering to use them as he did the nemesis destroyers (parking them in a gas cloud, making them an even harder nut to crack), but after he has seen what constantly being disordered would mean to them, he didn’t attempt it, and I don’t really blame him.

So far their role/style feels really distinguishable and different from the Bane, and at this point I’m not really afraid of it making it irrelevant, and this is why I’m beginning to like the Fore (fixed) arc. It’s more fun and different this way :)


I still feel, that it could shine if it got some increase in both price, and firepower, making their really narrow focused (both in role and firing arc) feel, that you gain something that stands out for the lack of utility (that also really stands out) you lose.

I still think that the 5-10 point pack hunters upgrade (without sacrificing the stealth systems) would really offset many of the weaknesses without pushing this ship into the „OP” region.

7AD across the board (with the proper price tag attached to it of course) is still on the table for me, as it could create interesting opportunities (that are still not no brainer) for not linking, and would really be interesting in a mixed light cruiser squadron.

 

Edit: managed to attach some pics

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I see you are in the "pack hunter affects mines" camp haha. Good report

 Indeed I am :) For me it makes sense from the rules perspective.

(I don't think it would have made a considerable difference in this case though, the crit rates were met by a large margin... near double crits)

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Ok guys, second round in testing the Virulence. We tried to follow the guidelines Balor has left over at the Dindrenzi thread!

 

I do want to say thank you as this is your second report and everything is being noted by the people in charge of FSA being Neil and Spartan Alex. Keep up the good work and keep testing.

 

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.  Let SG know what you think as YOU the players are the reason the game is still around.  

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Having faced those new shunt cruisers (gunship ?) they are a complete NIGHTMARE ! DT plus cloak plus stealth means they are nigh invulnerable until within 20" and dropped cloak. With the shunt ability its quite easy to stay at that kind of range.

The new t3's I rate as the second best for relthoza - that's because I have a strong hatred for nidus class bringing those srs

All in all well worth the points and pretty tough new units

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