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slimeball

French smalls

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which smalls do other french players like to use? I quite likeen the rocket destroyer but it seems over costed for its fragility. the Lyon is OK, some people have said it makes a good long range sniper, but 5 dice fully linked at long range seems poor, particularly when they have to shoot through cc

I am disappointed that the new small for us is just an escort that we already used our useless requims to proxy (seems unfair when everyone else gets something new).

any thoughts?

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maybe i should give requims another go, on paper they look fearsome as boarders, but my experience with reckless boarding corvettes is that usually they lose 1/2 on the way in, then half their assault teams to ack ack before the remainder get ripped apart by enemy crews hitting them on a 2+ or 3+

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33 minutes ago, Spartan Mike said:

Not sure why you gents have illustrated no love for the Chevalier!

Those devils always give me fits!

-Mike

The firepower is great and I enjoy using them until the enemy finds them, for 40 points they are really fragile. compare them to the ottoman avci, which i use as allies so I can take my converted Rochefort bombard monitors. the points are the same, the accident have shorter range but in defence they have 2 extra CC which makes a big difference when the enemy is firing small volleys of T weapons hoping to knock them off.

they also have extra AP making them a potential boarding threat

Edited by slimeball
got AA and AP wrong :p
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The boarding rush strategy with requins will work only one time, then next game your opponent will kill 2 or 3 requins before they can come in boarding range of anything...

So about smalls, IMHO :

- Lyon : just average (torpedoes at RB4 never do anything...) only usefull to weaken enemy smal squadron

- Alma : I found them far to expansive for what they achieve... Spotting is nice but lack of synergy in naval games, skimming is nice but rather redundant with small models natural agility. They usually get a good RB1 fire rushing from behind an island and then die quickly...

- Chevalier : Difficult to use (because quite fragile) but very effective. Our best small, I think

- Requin : good boarding unit, but to specialized. Any sensible opponent will kill at least 2 of them on turn 1 making the full squadron useless...

- Bordeaux : just the worse escort in the game. I always prefer an Ecuyer attachment over them.

So nothing wonderfull here :( we are far behind good smalls that the other factions can field (Nu, Uwatzu, Arminius, Veeran, Fury, ...). In fact most RoF players field smalls because it's mandatory and we must have some "protection" against field orders "all small" and "commodore's discretion", not because they are usefull or efficient...

 

 

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The chevalier is a great small! Consistent and decent firepower at good range bands. 

I like to keep them in reserve and bring them onto the flank 

The requin is a good cheap squadron. I find that mine work better in terror tactics then anything else. My opponent is so scared of them that they usually get targeted early, but it usually pulls firepower away from my main fleet. In reality I have had inconcistent results with them.

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I dont know why you are having such problems in bringing in boarders. Use Terrain and own ships to block them from enemy fire. Unless flyers noone should be able to hit them before they push out for their target. In my Opinion and as stated in the wishlist threat, destroyers are not worth a single of their points and tend to suffer the faith everyone describes for their requins. One thing to make them better could be give a 3rd HP or reduce costs massively like down to 30 Points.

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Requin: good

Lyon: OK, should regain DR4 or torpedoes should become somewhat stronger

Chevalier: OK, maybe somewhat overpriced. 18 AD rockets was good in V1 and V1.1, but for 160 points it is not that much in our days. Maybe change crew to stoic. They are heavy destroyers only in name.

Alma: massively overpriced, 25 points would be OK but not good. Maybe additionally increase speed to 13",

Bayonne: overpriced, nearly useless

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So, I've just gotten the Chevaliers and Almas and have tried them out. I've come to the conclusion that the French smalls are just lacking, they don't really seem to contribute much to the fleet. So here are my pointers

Lyons: Completely average. This is not to say they are bad, but compared to some other nations frigates, they're just too average. That being said, they are small hunters, something that the French aren't that good at, so they tend to find a place in my lists.

Requin: I used to love these little guys, and I still do, but they're really a bit overkill. They are great at boarding, and with their 16" movement can easily hide away and wait for the perfect moment to strike. Try activating them late in the Turn and then early the next turn to minimize return fire. However my problem is 2 fold. Firstly they are large killers, and I don't really need that in my fleet. Between options like the Cherbourg and la Rochelle, I find that destroying larges is pretty easy, and its smalls that are the hard part. Secondly they are one use weapons. As soon as they've launched their initial assault they are just dead weight, with no guns and usually using up all their AP in one go. That being said, a unit of them will pretty much always make their points back if handled with some care.

Chevalier: I like these things, They pack a decent punch. I do need to stop using them against larges though, and start using them to clean up smalls and mediums. But throwing out 14 dice is pretty nice.

Alma: They feel a little out of place in the list atm. Expert spotters is fantastic, for a list that actually has weapons that can fire indirectly. I never take them with my Naval list, but they do find regular play in my Land games, where they can combine with my bombards to ruin my opponents day. They also fit in nicely as allies to some nations (the ottomans for instance). At the moment they don't serve a role in our navy, although with the new submarine coming, perhaps that will change.

Bayonne: I have used them, they did nothing. A Ecuyer is probably a better option, if you can live with the risk of break tests.

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Compared to other nations smalls we have a slightly below average section for smalls IMO. Of course we have one of the better selection of larges (some say even the best!) which more than makes up for our lackluster smalls.

The problem with balancing is two fold with trying to balance within your own nations units as well as balance between the other nations units. Though i love hearing people suggestions for small tweaks here and there to try in tester games here :D. Keep up the suggestions!

This would be my rankings of smalls: 

Requin- Great smalls for their one time use to take out Larges or a couple mediums if a full squad makes it to boarding. The downside would be we already have plenty of units who hunt larges (mainly Heat Lances). Personal opinion, not a fan of the look of the model either.

Lyon- the epitome of average. seems to be outclassed by most other nations frigates (and even some escorts). broadside scream run through center of map but small and fragile don't mix well with that strategy.

Chevalier- Personal favorite small for the french but follows the theme of french mediums and smalls as glass cannony. great for long range for a small but compared to some other fleet destroyers seems a bit lacking (not by much if at all though). Kind of wished it were rocket bombards and not just rockets to hide behind larges and shoot. (also would bring Almas more)

Alma- ehhhh.... gun spread and arc seem perfect for a small unit but, only one gun for 30 points? But its 30 points for all its added MARS. I do not think spotter and skimming are worth it for this model (Skimming of course has to stay) since as stated before we have very few models who can benefit from spotting (some that can, Epaulard, St, Malo, our New sub when its released, im sure i am missing one or two). Since those seem moot points and also very low peripheral stats like boarding and CC it loses its place in the fleet. Id rather have it as an attached small for larges. BUT on land it has been a beast for me! so again.... tough to balance.

Bayonne- tried in one game, didn't really help defend an of my larges at all from boarding or torps. Since its only one game i cant really give a definite opinion on this sucker yet.

 

I have about 2 or 3 unofficial versions of the French fleet alone on top of the official ones and balancing is most certainly an immense task so keep at it Spartan and good luck! 

 

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19 minutes ago, Hubcap said:

Alma- ehhhh.... gun spread and arc seem perfect for a small unit but, only one gun for 30 points? But its 30 points for all its added MARS. I do not think spotter and skimming are worth it for this model (Skimming of course has to stay) since as stated before we have very few models who can benefit from spotting (some that can, Epaulard, St, Malo, our New sub when its released, im sure i am missing one or two). Since those seem moot points and also very low peripheral stats like boarding and CC it loses its place in the fleet. Id rather have it as an attached small for larges. BUT on land it has been a beast for me! so again.... tough to balance.

I also thought about about balancing the Alma for naval and land games. Maybe add a torpedo launcher. This makes it better at naval games but cannot be used in land games. I think the key problem about balancing skimmers in naval games and land games at the same time is another one: While some power creep took place in naval and aerial games, the land units stayed the same because SG neglected Armored Clash. That is why a unit that seems average in naval games is very strong in land games. If SG really wants to balance the different theatres of war, it has to put much work into Armored Clash. I am sad to day this, but I think this will ever happen due to ecomical reasons.

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So, my 2 cents on the subject:

Chevalier: Squishy for their cost, but they pack a good punch at a long range, you just need some good distractions to keep them from being shot to pieces (I agree with hubcap that those would really love to be able to use indirect fire.

Alma: Personally really like those, although without epaulards they're generally not worth it on a naval battlefield, 360-degree arc + elusive + hit and run means that they can provide some good harassment in a pinch. Of course, for those like me who run epaulards often, they're a godsend

Lyon: ... Okay at hunting smalls, I guess? Always found it hard to get the broadsides and torpedoes to both work, and most nations get better alternatives.

Requin: I often have a hard time getting them within boarding range alive (usually requires a helpful piece of terrain or two) but man do they kick ass when they get there.

Bayonne: Never used those, it seems to me that the Ecuyer is generally a better alternative. The kickstarter says they get "re-engineered", so that's probably going to change soon.

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1 hour ago, Erwl said:

Bayonne: Never used those, it seems to me that the Ecuyer is generally a better alternative. The kickstarter says they get "re-engineered", so that's probably going to change soon.

I didn't even see the re-engineered bit, really hoping they are more useful as I think we got really shafted with the expansion boxes compared to other factions otherwise

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Honestly I like our Chevaliers, they may be a little over costed but I have always gotten use out of them.  The Requin of course, long may it live.  I honestly tend to run two Requin squads and a squad of the destroyers.

The Lyons stats are not bad but they suffer from the reason broadsides were abandoned in real life, turrets allow you to concentrate your firepower better.  On paper the Lyon is a good ship with above average firepower.  In practice it needs to be in the middle of a fleet to actually use that firepower, and with DR3 that is not where they should be.  Originally their torps were only range band 2 and they had 4 DR allowing them to fight in the middle of a fleet. They were the short range fighters of the RoF fleet, though people complained at the lack of range at that time.

The Alma, as people have already stated great for land battles, to expensive and spotter is almost wasted in the RoF navy.

I have not used the Bayonne but that is because my main opponents run Russians and FSA.  Until I play with them I have no opinion.

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