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Dual Battle Groups: Your Opinion

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There has been a fair amount of discussion an a couple of threads as well as facebook groups recently about Dual battle groups and their use.

 

I for one am a supporter of using dual battle groups: they add an element of flexibility and surprise to the mix. However, They are inherently powerful if you take 2 maxed out cores (4 box sets) as I discovered at the Outpost tournament last year.

 

It like to add a caveat to dual battle groups: you can only take a minimum (1 box) per core. 

 

This is how I have used the dual battle group in the past: there is an equal amount of units on the table as your opponent, but the trade off for flexibility means that you cannot link your heavy tanks for that increased firepower.

 

Rather than concentrate on what you can or can't do, this thread is to discuss whether as a community we can come up with a common ground on their use.

 

What do people think?

 

What's your opinion on duel battle groups?

 

Would you be more open if dual battle groups were limited to a minimum under 6000 points?

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I'm not strictly against them but I feel there should be penalties for taking a double Battlegroup's. Possibly a small points increase on the second one you take, to try and stop 'spam'.

 

I feel at lower points levels 2000-4000 it's incredibly powerful, as was shown by a relatively new player at the Outpost who had 12 Directorate Medium Tanks running around annihilating everything and anything. Combined with 4 Heavies and a Leviathan I think it was. 

 

After 4000 I think if you decide before hand and you KNOW what is coming you can sort of plan around it yourself, however it's then a game of "min-maxing" which I really didn't want it to become.

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I think a limit should be set for your second, third battlegroup. 1 batyle group for each full 3k your playing so the lowest dual battle groups is 6k maybe it could be lowered to each 2.5k but at 4k you are inheritly min/max as you don't have the points space to do much else.

Also dual battlegroups allows for some very nasty allies combos - for example Zeph has a horrid list at 4k which takes both the Dinzi heavy helix and the Directorate Heavy helix plus a load of eris and kratos playong those gamea feels like you haven't enough tools in 4k to deal with that kind of list.

I don't think you should limit cores to half if you take additional battlegroups as that seems to me to be furthering the taking the minimum to max out goodies I would be much happier playing someone with 2 full strength cores at 4k than 2x minimum and as many super units as I can I.e. Terran 2 Core, 2 Sherrifs, 2 GA and as many Tyrs as you have points for.

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Maybe limit it by helix count. "If multiple battlegroups are taken only one battlegroup in a force may contain fewer than X helices." X I'm thinking being equal to maybe 4.

 

Interesting, I would say that It might be difficult at 6K or multiplayer games. Maybe 3 Helicies?

 

Is there a difference in people's opinion for friendly games and tournaments? What about the new Allied Cores?

 

Maybe the the first battlegroup must be maxed out before taking a second? And that seccond is capped at "half-core"?

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For friendly games you will sort of "know" what your opponent will generally bring - you could even let each other share lists before hand, to try and do a good counter list. As generally in PF, if you got double Battlegroup, your opponent can't do "all rounder" lists and expect to survive.

 

Four GA Helixes...just think about that for a second!

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 As generally in PF, if you got double Battlegroup, your opponent can't do "all rounder" lists and expect to survive.

 

Four GA Helixes...just think about that for a second!

 

I get that, and that is bent almost to the point of breaking. But that's why I'm trying to get the community to agree on self imposed limits.

 

I don't think that 2 core, 2 Interceptor and 2 recon is particularly hardcore, but it does make a good lightning assault list.

 

And having a half core aquans allied with a half core of terrans and their ground attacks is just as challenging.

 

Maybe the seccond battle group is limited to 1 option per helix ala taking allies? For example: if i were to take 2 dindrenzi battlegroups, with the seccond battlegroup, I would be limited to taking 1 heavy helix and locking out the leviathan slot. 

 

 

Maybe the the first battlegroup must be maxed out before taking a second? And that seccond is capped at "half-core"?

 

With those two options, there would be limited "min/maxing". 3 GA's not 4 and that's if you could get that in the points when the 1st battlegroup is maxed out...

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May be a complex way of doing it but...

 

Maybe the helix options are limited to a set few in the secondary battlegroup e.g - not command or lev or recon as the secondary battlegroup is classed as a support army and the first group is the main army and then possibly a different helix table to select the remainder helixes from?

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Since you have to agree with your opponent before the game about the number of battlegroups you're allowing for it, I don't really see where is the problem.

 

Double core is only possible if you set up the possibility to take two battlegroups. If it is allowed, then it's just one strategical option for both players - and usually means one of them intend to play that number. ;) Beside, taking two full core helix mean having a lot of activations - and that means ending all the activation on one core before going to the other.

 

It may not sound like a disadvantage, but in some cases, it can be.

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I was one of the first in our meta to start playing with dual battlegroups and for me it is a fun way of mixing things up. However I do recognize that serious min maxing manipulation with dual can lead to issues.

 

I don't think there is any need to introduce additional rules or restrictions on force building, and especially now that all the helixes are available, for me its fairly straight forward;

 

For friendly games agreement up front is key (whether as a general rule in your meta or on a game by game basis) - on either single or dual battlegroups, this of course can be very dependent on game size etc. and if I decide to take a single with the knowledge my opponent will likely have dual and I get my ass handed to me...well, I'm learning at least, so all good :)

 

For competitive games there should be a clear instruction/statement on whether it will be a single or dual battlegroup game...and all competitors should have either the one or two, not the option of one or two. The natural extension of this is, as we don't want to exclude anyone and we generally don't want competitive games to last too long (so hence limiting to around 3500 - 4000 pts) a choice on a single battlegroup is the obvious choice (for me) in competitive games.

 

In summary, have fun with dual battlegroups in friendly games, stick to a single battlegroup in competitive games :)

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I quite like the idea that any battlegroup other than the primary is limited to core helix and helixs are 0-1 locking out the opposite much like taking a non natural ally.

This would stop 4 levi, 4 GA list.

And increase the number of MBT which I don't think PF has enough yet.

"I want a horde of nuclear armed Hemidals"

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Since you have to agree with your opponent before the game about the number of battlegroups you're allowing for it, I don't really see where is the problem.

 

Double core is only possible if you set up the possibility to take two battlegroups. If it is allowed, then it's just one strategical option for both players - and usually means one of them intend to play that number. ;) Beside, taking two full core helix mean having a lot of activations - and that means ending all the activation on one core before going to the other.

 

It may not sound like a disadvantage, but in some cases, it can be.

 

 

I was one of the first in our meta to start playing with dual battlegroups and for me it is a fun way of mixing things up. However I do recognize that serious min maxing manipulation with dual can lead to issues.

 

I don't think there is any need to introduce additional rules or restrictions on force building, and especially now that all the helixes are available, for me its fairly straight forward;

 

For friendly games agreement up front is key (whether as a general rule in your meta or on a game by game basis) - on either single or dual battlegroups, this of course can be very dependent on game size etc. and if I decide to take a single with the knowledge my opponent will likely have dual and I get my ass handed to me...well, I'm learning at least, so all good :)

 

For competitive games there should be a clear instruction/statement on whether it will be a single or dual battlegroup game...and all competitors should have either the one or two, not the option of one or two. The natural extension of this is, as we don't want to exclude anyone and we generally don't want competitive games to last too long (so hence limiting to around 3500 - 4000 pts) a choice on a single battlegroup is the obvious choice (for me) in competitive games.

 

In summary, have fun with dual battlegroups in friendly games, stick to a single battlegroup in competitive games :)

 

pretty much sums up my feelings of it.

 

In a friendly game it should be agreed beforehand.

 

In a tournament you know what you are getting into when you agree to go. If its dual battlegroups I dont think there is a need to force one or another just making it completely obvious that this is an option. If the tournament is bad because of it people will vote with their feet.

 

Having organised Tournaments before and looking at our local club getting into the PF scene we are always going to be a single battlegroup tournament.

 

Also as a side note dual battlegroups wont always lock your activations down that badly. See my post from another discussion on this:

 

 

Without de-railing this thread any more than I already have I think you mis-read my post.

 

I never suggested 4 squadrons of Lamana's (although well used you would change your mind on that).

 

I merely suggest that a double battle group allows people on boths sides of the game to take a double battlegroup. 

 

So yes. 

You could run the list Marine0351W posted, but in response I could run:

 

Primay Battlegroup

Core Helix

Sedna x 2 w/SirSir

Lamana x 3

Imzani x 3

Stingray battery  x 2

Stingray Battery

 

Heavy Helix

Haumea

 

Heavy Helix 

Haumea

 

Secondary Battlegroup

 

Core Helix

Sedna x 2 w/SirSir

Lamana x 3

Imzani x 3

Stingray battery  x 2

Stingray Battery

 

Heavy Helix

Haumea

 

That list offers 

Four Sky Drop markers for the Stingrays to come in on.

5 Nexus designators to bring them in.

 

Two units at 20 dice 36" range, pinpoint 2, that in the late game get a waste not want not target lock attempt from the SirSir

Three units at 16 dice 30" range with Interceptor & Corrosive with a 5 dice designator to get their Target locks off

Two units at 12 dice 32" range with Pinpoint 1, or 18 dice at 16"

Three units at 15 dice each 12" range. 

Four units of Stingrays with a 30" range, corrosive and 12 dice each that will likely be in your flank / rear and are worth very little TV. 

 

Both those lists are likely to be very powerful against an opponent that uses just one battlegroup, but against each other its likely to be a much more interesting game. 

 

TLDR; double battlegroups work if both players are using them and have models to support the crazy builds, single battlegroups are better IMO because you have to make choices about what to take and what to cut. 

 

 

Thats 5 helixes, three with one activation in each, and two with a minimum of 3, maximum of 5. I wouldnt feel locked down there at all. 

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... 

Interesting, I would say that It might be difficult at 6K or multiplayer games. Maybe 3 Helicies?

It wouldn't effect multiplayer as they'd be 2/3/4+ forces per side. The reason in particular I picked 4 for my idea was that's a stripped core, double something, and a "tax" helix to cut down spamming a 3rd battlegroup set. Honestly even at 6k I believe a second battlegroup should be rare. Most forces can hit 9k with a single battlegroup, so 5+ helicies trimmed should hit the mark pretty often. Dual+ battlegroup lists are for 10k+ lists to begin with from what I can see, and are easy to quell use in competitive lists by just capping the number of as it's always been required that you agree on the number before list building.

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In a friendly game it should be agreed beforehand.

 

In a tournament you know what you are getting into when you agree to go. If its dual battlegroups I dont think there is a need to force one or another just making it completely obvious that this is an option. If the tournament is bad because of it people will vote with their feet.

 

I would just add something: to me, no matter if it's "friendly" or "competitive", in both cases you HAVE to agree with your opponent about the number of battlegroups before playing. That's in the rules and frankly speaking, if someone is trying to play the "sneaky way" by "forgetting to talk about it and thinking it was two by default", then he just has to be treated the harsh way; He didn't make the agreement with you, thus he remakes his list. Doesn't want to do that? Well, he doesn't play with you. ;)

 

Mutual agreement between players before a game isn't an option ; it's mandatory, no matter how you intend to play. :)

 

For tournaments (I guess that's what you call "competitive", even if it's more a playstyle than anything else), I think it's pretty obvious the organizers have to say how many battlegroups are allowed. Then all participants tacitly agree to that number. Simple and effective.

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Thanks for all the feedback guys.

 

However I'll still circle back to the OP point that it's not about what we can or can't do. I believe that most of us play friendly games rather than competitive. So we can all play dual battlegroup lists (and I'm yet to find someone who has said "I'm not playing your double core list")  At 5K  it's not that bad. But then again I like to play 'Fun & Themed' lists.

 

 

Core Helix

1x Kratos

3x Eris + Circe

3x Leto

Nyx: 3x Sweeper Teams, 1 Officer + Damocles MKII Sky Pod

 

RSN Assault Helix

Archangel 

6x Seraphs + Temple of Dramos

 

Heavy Support Helix

Ares + Circe

3x Gorgos

 

Core Helix

1x Kratos

3x Eris + Circe

3x Leto

  

Recon Helix 

Nyx: 3x Gun Teams, 1x Officer + Damocles MKII Sky Pod

2x Damocles MkI Field Guns

2x Damocles MkI Field Guns

 

(DIR) Heavy Support Helix

Castigator + Stalker

3x Avenger

 

1 Logistic point

 

=5000

 

Knowing this list would you opt out of a game?

What I was thinking was: Is there a way we can stop people abusing the system? 

If so does that mean there is more scope for Dual cores in competitive play?

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Thanks for all the feedback guys.

 

However I'll still circle back to the OP point that it's not about what we can or can't do. I believe that most of us play friendly games rather than competitive. So we can all play dual battlegroup lists (and I'm yet to find someone who has said "I'm not playing your double core list")  At 5K  it's not that bad. But then again I like to play 'Fun & Themed' lists.

 

 

Knowing this list would you opt out of a game?

What I was thinking was: Is there a way we can stop people abusing the system? 

If so does that mean there is more scope for Dual cores in competitive play?

 

I would be happy to play that, had Derek spring a dual battlegroup list on my single battlegroup one time (when i say spring he asked me if it was ok to play that).

 

Its just that without a significant form of comp that isnt the type of list everyone will submit in a dual battlegroup event. 

 

At the point we have to introduce comp I would say to keep it simple and go single battlegroup.

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adding comp will only end up complicating things. Simplest method for current forces will be organizers stating how many may be used and agreements for friendly games.

Depending on how large the allied core Helix is it could change for them but any competitive force running duel under 6-8k is likely min maxing for specific strong helix allowance or building to take advantage of a gimmick.

Most groups can bring 8k with a single for each helix maxed out so saying 6-7k on average for a single core is not allowing for much min maxing and could be a reasonable pts limit for duels if a guideline must be set.

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The simple fact right now is low point min-max with multiple cores is already fixed as pre game you MUST agree on how many battlegroups each player is bringing. Ditto for competitive as the TO sets the number. Now if tweaking/community standards need to go in place to discourage exploiting in "open" larger games that can be discussed, but even the printed Rulebook addressed the issue as much as is currently needed in an official capacity.

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Looks like something that needs to be addressed in 2.0...

Perhaps add a minimum # of Helixs before you can expand into a second Battlegroup, or secondary Battlegroups have to be a special BG with stricter limits...

 

I still dont see what needs addressing here.

I guess if there is a requirement from the community we can see what Spartan can do, but Secondary Battlegroups have been included so that people can build whacky hexlies with strange compositions. They werent introduced for competitive play but to give a framework of how you could expand and have four races on the table top if you so chose, or so you can go big stompy robots, or so you can go as close to an aerial force as possible. 

 

Why would anyone want 2.0 to be perscriptive in how you play Friendly games?

 

At the moment Battlegroup strength is only really mentioned as part of the mutual agreements... if you havent mutually agreed then thats part of the problem. 

 

There will always be people in a tournament scene looking for the competitive edge by min/maxing / fine tuning their list after multiple games.

 

If as a player I elect to go to a tournament that allows dual battegroups a few things will happen:

 

1. I will see some god damn scary min/maxed lists

2. I will see some single battlegroup lists

3. I will see some very wierd and wonderful lists

 

There is nothing wrong with that as I am electing to go to the tournament, no one can surprise me with a dual battlegroup (although the composition can do).

 

TLDR; what do you want addressing in 2.0 regarding Battlegroups?

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TLDR; what do you want addressing in 2.0 regarding Battlegroups?

 

More restrictions on lower point levels for dual battlegroups, in the hope that it opens out more interesting options in competitive play.

 

Possibly by restricting the second group's helices to the same rules as non natural allies and/or restricting the second battlegroup to a single box or enforcing a minimum helix number requirement before adding a second group.

 

I fear that when the Allied Cores come out we will not be able to run events where people can use the the new core in addition to their current force without the fear of WAAC players abusing the rules taking 4 leviathans etc.  

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Knowing this list would you opt out of a game?

What I was thinking was: Is there a way we can stop people abusing the system? 

If so does that mean there is more scope for Dual cores in competitive play?

 

Well, simple; if you agreed to play only one battlegroup, that list isn't possible.

 

Everything goes back to the mutual agreement. Then after, it's all about player feeling; after all, there is no glory in an easy victory.

 

What I mean is that if each player makes a list adapted to each other, you will rarely see such cases of abusing lists with no chance of victory for the other side. If I play with my competitive friend who likes to make the most optimized lists, then making an optimized list should be the best answer to have a fair game together. If I play with my background-loving friend who makes very thematic lists not because of the profiles but of his own personnal story, then I make a background friendly list as well. For the same reason than the other example; to have a fun, fair game.

 

All of this isn't possible without talking with your fellow player about what we both want to play to have a nice game together. There is no thing as a list without context. That's something that you will never solve with the rules alone.

 

Because let's be honest; adding more restrictions will never get rid of the possibility of min-maxing - because that comes from the player's intention, not the rules. What it will do, however, is sacrificing the freedom of players to play what they want how they want it, just for the sake of removal of a few lists made by some players in a very specific mindset.

 

The true question should be; is it really worth it? Are there that many reports of "unfun" games with "horrible dual core lists" spreading everywhere like a cancer? Is the simple ruling of agreeing with your opponent on the number of battlegroups before the game not enough to make things as "dual core vs one core" simply not possible if one of the players feels that can be a problem?

 

Now I let everyone answer honestly. ;)

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Well the allied list bit may be moot. Natural allies can be up to 49% of the main force. If the points cost on the core helices stay somewhat level (2600-3000) then a 6k list should be completely viable before any of the additional auxiliary helices release.

Casual play should be completely uneffected by the idea of multi-core. Competitive in general should follow suit. If the community wants to come up with recommended guidelines for multi-core tournament rules to make the game more balanced that's great. If Spartan makes those part of the tournament packs then that's excellent. But any plans to shoehorn this into 2.0 are a waste of time. There is no reason for any official "fixes" addressing this to be in or tested for the new Rulebook.

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