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V2.5 orbats (initial release) thoughts and ramblings submitted here for proper scientific peer review.

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Ok, so we have had a few days to chunter over the new ORBATS and what these changes mean for us. Here are my thoughts, starting with general observations and then considering drones.

Defences:

With the changes to boarding rules out larges have gained a slight boost to their survivability. Add to that the proliferation of shield (3) that has swept our large/massive section and you would think we are in a better position overall. We have always been a surprisingly tough fleet vs shooting, what with shields backed up by inventive scientists and wavelurkers. Unfortunately there is a weapon system that cuts straight through our defences, and it is a common one that is often further boosted with particular MARs. Torpedoes. They are now our bane. Our CC values tend towards average with some being downright terribad (Our dreadnought has a CC of 4). This was not a problem when torps were subject to our superior shields, but now they are barrage weapons I suspect we will be having a lot of problems. Heaven help the CoA ship that gets hit by the Deathbringer high payload torpedoes.

 

Particle Accelerators:

Currently our signature mad scientist doomsday weapon is not sitting in a good place. With the exception of the Zeno our particle accelerators are mounted on slow vessels. RB1 will only really happen on turn 3 with any degree of reliability, on turn 2 against fast targets. Add to this the problem of lining up a close range fixed channel weapon on vessels that usually like to operate near our other vessels... Well, for more thoughts on this weapon there is a thread already in existence. All I will add here is that hitting on a 3+ with an indiscriminate weapon should on average generate the same number of hits as there are AD on the weapon's profile. We seem to have 3 grades of PA. Low strength PA on the zeno with 7 dice, meaning a good chance of causing a crit on most mediums. Medium strength PAs on vessels like the Aristotle with 11 dice, which should cause critical hits on most larges but will not be in the region of causing a double crit on a medium. Finally there are high strength PAs with 12 or 13 AD such as those on our dreadnoughts, these stand a fair chance of causing a critical hit on anything that is not a dreadnought and causing double crits on weaker mediums. These AD numbers strike me as well thought out for each level of PA, skirting the line between powerful enough and too powerful very well.

 

Generators:

I could have sworn Spartan Mike hinted at us getting new generators. I concede we have had our shield facility boosted a little, which is nice. But when I read some of the new generators in the rulebook I was sure we would get one, possibly on the new models. What with the target painter problem (best summed up by Sebenko in the general section of the forum) I am not feeling the generator love that the CoA should surely have as a key part of its faction flavour.

 

Drones: (and if a spartan reads any of this thread please please read and respond to this bit)

Riiiiiight... for the record, I am fully in favour of the idea of our drones being boosted by combat coordinators. I think it adds a layer of tactical thought to our play. Now that everyone has the relaunch ability we enjoyed during 2.0, I think the ability to stack buffs so that our drones can outperform those silly aircraft piloted by fleshbags is a good one. So I am very sorry to say that I believe the implementation of this fine idea has been botched. As a fleet we rely on drones for a number of tasks; they are one of our very few good options for generating high AD pools that can hurt enemy large/massives, they supplement out anti-boarding ack ack as a CAP which helps cover a major major faction weakness, and they are our only real option for hunting submarines (especially now that PAs cannot blast out beyond RB1.) Whilst their necessity as a CAP might be debated and we have arguably benefited from the new boarding rules, the other two functions are critical to our fleet. Not only that, but we need to be able to apply these tools at range from our vessels otherwise it is usually too late. Now we are faced with 2 key problems caused by one main issue: To do these jobs our drones require the specific hunter MAR. All the other MARs and boosts are just gravy, but the hunter MAR is the meat and potatoes of what makes SAS effective. This gives us a truly horrific problem; to do their jobs we not only need to have selected the appropriate vessels to bring the right combat coordinator, but it needs to be in the right place (and remember a lot of them are our slow capital vessels) and they need to have been deployed in roughly the right area of the table. This is exacerbated by the generally low range of the combat coordinator MARs on the main vessels.

As an example, let us consider a sub hunting scenario that has played out in my games many times before. I face an enemy submarine squardon (lets say KoB vanguards) that is racing towards me. I need to cripple this squadron before it gets into boarding range of my large/massive vessel. To do this I have some drone torpedo squadrons. Under 2.0 this would work out reasonably well for me, but now lets consider it in 2.5. My torpedo drones without any buffs will only hit on a 5+, so not even a full squadron stands a good chance of causing a critical hit when going through submarine level CC. Ok then, so we need to have our buffs. Our options for hunter submerged are... the Aristotle. Well, I hope I put one if my list, then deployed it in the right place. Luckily in this hypothetical example I did! So, my drones fly out to intercept the subm... oh, it is only an 8 inch range on the combat coordinator. And even then it is only +1, rather than +2 as is required to match other torpedo bombers.

This is my main problem with the system as is. The combat coordinators are too short ranged and should supplement the drones working rather than have the drones absolutely reliant on them. Without this being the case I could screw my fleet over in the list building stage by not including the coordinator I need for them to do their job, screw my fleet over in deployment by putting the combat coordinators in the wrong area, and screw my fleet over anyway because the buffs do not push the drones function up to the base line of other SAS.

The fix for this is easy and simple. Give the drones their hunter MARs as part of their base stat block. Do not have these vital MARS attributed to the combat coordinators. They are absolutely required, not an optional extra. Hunter aerial +1 for fighters, hunter surface +1 for dive bombers and hunter submerged +2 for torpedo bombers. This is the bare minimum required to make them useful in 2.5.

As an extra to make the system fun and tactical (which currently it is not) give the player flexibility in which buffs each vessel gives. Give each vessel Combat Coordinator (X) and have a table on page 2 of the orbat that says X can be any one of a set of options such as are already scattered across the ORBAT. You could even then give points costs for certain options, or have some vessels like the Euclid given multiple combat coordinator (X). This makes it all about player choice and allows us to build a strategy and synergy out of the system.

I would also like the range increased on the combat coordinators, but honestly the other two suggestions above far far outstrip this need for more range.

 

 

So there are my thoughts, I thought I would finish on a high :) I have some thoughts about our new vessels too but I will save them for later. I feel it is more important to make the point about drones and see what my fellow penguins have to add on this matter. Reading back over it, this sounds a lot like me moaning and I would not usually want to take that tone on here. I apologise. Enthusiastic service will resume once I have worked the drone problem out of my system. Hey, at least they all have 14 inches of movement back again! :D

 

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In terms of defence, I think we've come out fairly even with a lot of nations- and torps were often decried as being useless by many nations. The game in general seems to be getting more dangerous. Do I think that's a good thing? Not really, but I don't think we've suffered especially compared to other nations.

 

Particle Accelerators- I don't much care about the balance for these. What matters to me is that they've lost their cool factor.Now they're barely more exciting than an area bombardment bombing run.

Generators- Our generators are seeming a bit lifeless, too. Yeah, we gained a shield dice here and there, but that's just a requirement of the more dangerous game that 2.5 is. My feelings on the Target Painter changes have been well expressed elsewhere.

Drones: As I said when the idea was first revealed by Spartan, short range on combat coordinator totally kills the use of drones. It's the exact same problem we had with generators before, except drones are a much larger part of our fleet than offensive gens were for most nations before. The actual abilities on some of the carriers seem ill-thought, as though half of them just got a MAR at random. Maybe I'd get some use out of the Diophantus' sustained fire bonus, since it tends towards getting close- but the Pericles? It was considered dangerously squisy when it could hide at RB4! And you want me to get it within 12" Combat Coordinator range of the enemy, in the newer, more dangerous system? Are you mental? Who thought that one up? The Aristotle has Hunter (Submerged), which also seems to have been picked at random. Generally, I consider the holy trinity of Battleship, Cruiser and Frigate to be a faction's bread and butter of standard options- can't go wrong with a cruiser squadron in any fleet. So to have such a niche ability seems useless, as most fleets will only feature one or two submarine squadrons.

The Euclid has gained a great set of Combat Coordinator abilities, but again, it's slow, and still costs 300 points for the base version! And it won't benefit from the stratospheric survivability buffs as it's main weapon is a PA. 300 points for a carrier that can't even launch a full squadron of drones. It even still pays 15 points for a Target Painter that only affects it's 9AD e-turret! They've actually made it even worse. I didn't think it was possible, but no. Spartan, did you think the Euclid was a mistake and want to prevent us using it again? Can I have a refund for my one? Or can I have it even be acceptable on the field?

Epicurus- still only okay at best. No way is the poor thing getting in range to help with big fuel tanks. Launch Turret still does nothing.

Daedalus-Beta. Heavy Ack-Ack is a really good MAR, but it's not worth the 30 points and lack of toys compared to it's ocean equivalent, the Hipassus. Probably won't benefit from the stratospheric changes much, as it's still a fairly long rang optimised model.

Hyperbius- It existed for it's Target Painter. New role is a bit pants because agressive counter SAS operations seem like waste, especially for 120 points.

New Models

Theon- I like it, super fast sky destroyer. I can see using these for more than just air superiority- punishing out of position medium targets would seem like a good role for them.

Praxilla- I think that Long Lances are a bit overcosted, both on this and the Skorpios. That said, I think they'll be really annoying to face. Has a Target Painter, just to make me sad it seems- especially when in pre-release materials they were explicitly mentioned as helping energy weapon fire from other models.

Menedaius and Newtons- Don't know how to feel about these, not used a repair unit before. I feel the Newtons running off and assisting models on their own would be a fantastic benefit over normal repair vessels. Little confused as to the 10/8/-/- broadsides, a 10/8/4/2 would be neater as it would fit with the Zeno's AD spread. Nice torps, would have gone well with the Descartes MkII's torp painter, had TPs not been ruined. Haven't thought much about how a 175 point low-offense value ship would fit in a fleet list, and nothing instantly springs to mind. Maybe just stick it in with a close assault contingent and make sure your boarding elements and non-redoubtable turrets are still intact. I am liking it, even if I don't know how to use it.

And finally- if I haven't mentioned a model, it'll be because my opinion on it hasn't changed from the last 2.0 ORBAT, or at least I haven't seen any massive issues- maybe Cleos are useless in the new more destructive 2.5, but I couldn't tell you.

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I have to agree with the comments about the particle accelerator and drones. They completely lost their cool factor. 8'' for the accerators and Combat Coordinators is way to close for a fleet that want to keep its distance. Are we going to pay again for stuff we can't use?

 

Maybe they should make work the accelerator in rangeband 2 and 3 or something like that. Seems big a blast to use so close the firing vessel anyway.

 

Drones have now become more or less like normal SAS... what an anti climax.

 

Sky Captain 

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Ok here goes:

PAs: Not sure about these statwise but they are no longer what anyone thinks when you say particle accelerator.  With them no longer being a linear beam weapon the name just no longer feels right.  With their current stats it would be better to call them short range heavy plasma cannons or something similar.  I realize this is nit picking but most of the complaints I have seen on and off the forums have been that the name no longer fits the weapon.  And lets be honest, we can all totally see the CoA putting a giant plasma cannon on the front of their ships, you know, for the lols:).

Generators: Yes, the current generator options are stale, they are so stale they have not improved since 1.1 at least (actually we have lost generators).  I doubt these rules are the full 2.5 rules and more likely something Spartan Games did to get out quickly and as such I hope we will see the generators Mike and Josh hinted at.  That said the 2.0 "temporary fix" for CoA drones lasted two and a half years.

Drones: I will be honest and say i understand the problem with how many drones the CoA can field.  It is totally SG fault, but I understand.  It is actually very hard to make an effective CoA list that doesn't spam drones because of how many of our L/M ships bring them.  For a while SG thinking got into a rut that said drones were the CoA's signature weapon instead of SAS, so they put them on everything, everything.

That said I think the combat coordinator rule is the way to go for the specialized MARs, you know Acrobatic Pilots, Big Fuel Tanks, Swarm Tactics.  I would not even mind the drones only having 10" move if the carriers had a CC MAR that added 4" to their movement.  Hunter is not a specialized MAR for SAS, it is role defining and core to the SAS types.  There are two major problems with the rules that were just dropped.  One, if you want to use the hunter MAR as a CC MAR then the CoA drones need to have only one statline.  I mean seriously, two of the drones listed currently are just named differently.  Personally I think it could work, and it would be very flavorful to the CoA drones, but right now it just seems half baked and really rushed.

The second problem with the new approach to the CoA drones is the range of the CC MARs.  I can see the Kepler and Diophantus classes only having 8" CC.  One is a medium without a lot of room for specialized control equipment and the other is a close range brawler that does not need the long range control equipment.  The rest of the fleet though, needs to have a longer range.  The worst of the bunch is the Pericles, it still is DR 5 and all we got for it was Acrobatic Pilots at 12" and being allowed to have Air Hunter again.  It needs to actually be the fleet carrier, and if you are going to use CC MARs this is best represented by it providing coverage for the fleet. 

Honestly I would recommend removing the CC MARs from most of the non-carrier ships in the fleet.  Right now the way they are spread around makes it very convoluted to deal with on the tabletop. And if those of us that regularly play the CoA find it convoluted to deal with, imagine what our opponents would think!  If the CC MARs were mainly concentrated on the carriers it makes them feel and act more like the control centers for the drone network. It allows their range to be boosted so it feels like the carriers are the CnC for the drones, it allows the carriers to be specialized for specific roles (fleet carrier, sub hunter, ect..), and our opponents can target specific ships to try and weaken our defenses against their play style.

Hunh, this section on drones ended up being far wordier than I intended.

Also:

Holy $#%%$ Sky Captain is not dead!

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I definitely agree that the Combat Coordinator abilities should be (mostly) concentrated on the carriers (with one or two others, such as the Hyperbius, to act as "signal boosters").

I'm also one of the people who preferred the "beam weapon" particle accelerators, and I feel that they've lost their flavour, now they're just a variation of Energy Blast cannons. (Also, it means that the 2-inch "energy blast" template is now misnamed, as it's only used for translocation portals, and pulse generators.)

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13 hours ago, Sebenko said:

A reconsideration of the Euclid- considering how tough it is to hurt while Stratospheric, I wouldn't say it was worse.

But it is more dull. A dreadnought with a PA shouldn't be cowering at Stratospheric being nigh invulnerable, that's boring for everyone involved.

And it means that it can only fire its PA at other Stratospheric models. Which it'd be good at (always hitting on 3+, instead of a 6, and ignoring Shields). It's a lot of points to relate to "Stratospheric deterrent duty", but that could be useful in some situations.

Otherwise, if deployed Obscured, you'd not be able to fire that PA at Surface targets until the 3rd turn :-( Then again, there's nothing new about the PA height level clause - just the range.

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4 hours ago, Bazlord said:

Otherwise, if deployed Obscured, you'd not be able to fire that PA at Surface targets until the 3rd turn :-( Then again, there's nothing new about the PA height level clause - just the range.

And all that time you're not at at least obscured, the Euclid is very vulnerable (literally once it gets to low-level) for a model that hands over 425 points when shot down, or 725 when prized- and that's without any upgrades. With more than one upgrade it easily breaks 800 points prize value. That's dangerously close to 70% all the way up to 1500.

It's got low-level flyer, but it dare not use it.

While stratospheric it's nigh invulnerable, but it dares not ever come down from there.

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It's gets to sit at the tip of the Xmas tree!!! And never come down, for fear of being batted off then crushed, by an over-enthusiastic kitten. Named any other faction...

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Admittedly, there is a ton of work to be done with the CoA. 

These erudite warriors have long stood tall as the paramount masters of technology and innovation in the Dystopian World. With the new edition of the game, we have been given an amazing chance  to review and advance the thematics and narrative of the faction. To bolster their command of Sturginium era technology, with all types of new concepts and innovations that came with the new rules.

Two points:

ORBAT pains and issues are solidly noted and much lamented. These documents represent, in no way whatsoever, the illustration of the complete evolution of the Fleet and its classic theme and rules representation. Many layers of scientific study and tooling will be needed to achieve the desired effect. A concept that excites me personally in the extreme!

The Scientists of the CoA, being as elite as they are, will have been hard at work developing superior function into existing tech, and it will be illustrated. Additionally, new tech and concepts will be woven into the form of existing vessels. Effectively giving new life to them, illustrating the incredible uniqueness of the Covenant warmachine. This has been a growing concern for you fine penguins as the game evolves around the aging narrative of the Dystopian Wars. But while some Covenant concepts have been developed or stolen by other nations, evocative and powerful new ones  are being ushered out of the vault, much to the woe of the infantile great nations and their lesser scientists. 

Short form:

When we get the new testing team set up, brand new concepts and designs will be injected into the CoA to illustrate a stronger and unique theme (something I am to accomplish for all nations!). New tech is coming as promised. And naturally with all of this, will be a polished version of the Drones rule concept in the current CoA doc. 

Of all the Greag Nations that need work, the CoA is the most fragile jewel. It needs to be handled delicately, in order to keep its luster spectacular and rightfully unique. And it absolutely will be.

-Mike

 

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On 6/24/2017 at 9:08 AM, Shadowcatdecoy said:

Holy $#%%$ Sky Captain is not dead!

Yup, still a life and kicking.   ;)

 

Haven't stop playing Dystopian Wars, but I have tried a number of new games club members introduced. Got hooked on some of them. Still love this game.

 

Sky Captain 

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Mike, thank you for your reply.

 

Being different is what draw me to playing Covernant. I understand they are hard to balance against the other nations, but it as it is, they look very bland at the moment. I looking forward to what you will come up with.

 

I would like to add a point to the Combat Coordinator ability. Overall I like it, but spreading it out over too many ships with a very short range, will make it hard and chaotic to use. Both players constant measuring which drones are in range of which ships and forgetting them half of the time.

 

Sky Captain 

 

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3 hours ago, Sky Captain said:

I would like to add a point to the Combat Coordinator ability. Overall I like it, but spreading it out over too many ships with a very short range, will make it hard and chaotic to use. Both players constant measuring which drones are in range of which ships and forgetting them half of the time.

I'll need to playtest this, but yeah - given the stated attempt to streamline the game, it does feel as though the variety of different CC abilities will make a Covenant game - that wishes to make proper use of them to just bring their SAS up to similar levels a their opponent's - rapidly more complicated.

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On 6/25/2017 at 5:25 AM, Spartan Mike said:

When we get the new testing team set up, brand new concepts and designs will be injected into the CoA to illustrate a stronger and unique theme (something I am to accomplish for all nations!). New tech is coming as promised. And naturally with all of this, will be a polished version of the Drones rule concept in the current CoA doc. 

Mike, what is Spartan's vision for the Covenant right now? I know that specific rules are always subject to change (a living ruleset is one of the things my group likes about DW) but identity is something you can talk about without having a testing team in place. What sort of playstyle/experience are you aiming to get refine with the testing team?

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@Abakus Innovative technological superiority. Sleek efficient designs, coupled with precision intent of action. Focused on delivering battlefield "solutions" to the troubling problem of the Great Conflict with an arrogant, dominating and cold logic. Vessel design built around this core concept when able, nothing is ever going to be as "bard-like" as is in some nations.

Strike with might, support in kind, concentrate focus and objectives. Weaponry and fleet designed for optimal impact, everything should have a purpose. Powerful output and reliability, capabilities of extreme ranges, but indeed with this power comes a more delicate and fragile encasement (this tech isn't conventional and rugged!): Glass Cannon-ish. A confident reliance and shields, not raw durability (faith in thier science!) to mitigate return damage and minimize loss to acceptable levels. Elite and powerful crew, yet small in number when set into vessels not specifically tuned for melee delivery.

Advancement in released weapons and technology (new generators etc) due to the escalation of the war. The vault had hoped it would be uneccesary to unleash more of thier tools of death, and the various warring factions could be brought to heel without furthering the reapers toll... The idiot Nations of the world have proved that to be a fallacy...

Playstlye-wise... a CoA player should always have a solution that is elite, focused and powerful. Example concepts:

"Air-hunter" make a mockery of thier targets unbelievable efficiency, support vessels focus strongly on thier bolstering elements to dizzying levels, etc. Focus the matter and bring your A-game! This gives the CoA player unpresedented tooling ability, much like a scientist, to solve the issues they might face in any opponent. 

Reliance on tech for survival, not weighty hulls. Power comes at a price, both in "cost" but also in a more average styled hull. 

Weapon systems: longer range, to work with darting and evasive tactics, (but again... certain ships will be built to counter this idea when a brawler is needed). A variety of efficient and advanced weapons and munitions, that are focused for a variety of combat roles. 

A glut of generators... new and old and some just better than before!...providing incredible options to help with a variety of objectives.

A unique and powerful drone SAS compliment. Comepletely customizable with a strong support network, that allows for incredible battlefield advantage when well choreographed.

Outside of specialty vessels, this is not a boarding faction. The risk is too severe! But still packing a solid elite crew to defend thier precious tech-covered ships.

Hope that helps!

-Mike

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One of the things we had bandied around a long time ago on these forums was instead of relying on overly large dice pools the CoA should make better use of the firepower it has.  The original idea was to use the Hunter MAR to represent the CoA having better targeting equipment than other people.  With the release of the French battleship that can alternate between submerged and air Hunter the though hit me that something like that would allow the CoA to make better use of its firepower but not necessarily overpower them.

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Very true Shadowcatdecoy, which leads me nicely into a review of our new units! :P

Lets start with the Praxilla (a greek poet).

Our first true submarine falls into a familiar mode, its hull is basically a KoB vanguard with a lower AP value, capital designation (and thus 5hp) and a far lower impact rating. Like many other submarines it has no potential for underwater warfare, needing to surface to use its deceptively powerful long lance. Looking at the weapon spread (8/8/6/6) and its squad size (2) it is easy to fall into the trap of comparing it to the good old reliable Fresnel. Both offer decent strength (now piercing) shooting at long range. Whilst I do not think the Praxilla is a sniper ship, for comparison in rb4 the Praxilla throws 9 dice which, due to hunter surface, will often result in 9 hits. Fresnels throw 16 that results in about 13 hits. It is clear that the Fresnel is still king here, so what is the role of the Praxilla?

Well little penguin, let us look at what we have. As a submarine with reinforced bulkheads the Praxilla is a tough medium and will need dedicated anti-submarines weapons to shift it. That, combined with its speed, means the Praxilla will be able to provide a powerful punch in the right place at the right time. Not only that, but it is the type of punch we have been seriously lacking. In RB2, which is when the dice of the long lance get better and the target painter generator comes into play, the Praxilla tells a captivating story. It tells of 12 dice, augmented by a target painter, hitting on 2+. This is the type of punch that can slap dreadnoughts around with a bit of luck. Even the single firing 8 dice stands a fair chance at piercing through the DR and delivering some focused critical hits and some lethal strike AP loss. This is exactly the sort of concentrated force, the feeling of power through precision rather than brutality, that makes the CoA feel true. Here we have a pair of ships that can go hunt enemy larges/massives...

But there is a problem. Once you deliver a crippling shot like that there will be reprisals. At DR5 and CR6, a surfaced Praxilla will fold under any medium strength firepower the enemy has. To avoid this grisly fate and having the squadron turn out to be a one shot weapon it has a few things going for it. Evasive maneuvers helps get back to the safety of submerged, but even on a 4+ it is not wise to count on this. Hit and run gives it 4 inches of movement to find cover, which can help but probably not enough. This leaves the corvette-style of safe use, activating them late in the turn when not much will be able to fire at them or making sure there are more pressing threats to deal with.

So I like the Praxilla, I think it adds a tool to our toolbox that the enemy will find surprising and distressing. In a fleet of specialists we now have a close range precision killer. Sure the Fresnel or Kepler-Aristotle will out do it in RB3 or 4, but for the price of 160 points the Praxilla offers a threat that is tough to counter until after it has made an impact. I look forward to running a pair in concert with a Descartes of either mk. The mk2 will give them a guardian shield (still boo for us having one of these) and capitalise on their lethal ability to strip crew from a juicy enemy target, the mk1 will give them a speed boost and the Praxilla will pair well with the ranged skirmishing role of the mk1. So much piercing! Gotta love that new focused critical hit table :P

--------------

Next and probably the most simple new toy, let us look at the Theon (greek word for god I think).

Following in the footsteps of the Ptolemy,  Euclid and Capek, the Theon is a 360 degree UFO style flier with a body like a heavy destroyer. 3HP, squadron size 2-3, 3AA, 2AP, these are not terribly exciting stats. What we do have here though is a blistering 15 inches of movement. On a 360 degree flier. For an idea of what that means, on turn 2 this thing can nearly have crossed the table and be sitting in the deployment zone of the enemy. And when it gets there is has a nasty surprise for the enemy; a 7AD fore gun with sturginium munitions, hunter aerial and pack tactics. That is a 16AD on 4+ smash to the face of any heavy bomber or sky fortress hiding in obscured. Even Stratospheric flyers will feel the pain of that shot (on a 5+ it generates nearly 10 hits) Or just 3 straight up 7AD shots on 4+ against those small fliers who think they are so tough up in the sky. 

On the downside, these are 40 points each, with dr3 cr5 and not much else to keep them alive. Small target will help a little, and the fact that you can easily position them outside of nasty fire arcs or inside RB1 where enemy naval vessels will struggle to target you, but the downside of operating in close range is that enemy fighter SAW will easily start to snap you up. Each 5 strong fighter SAW will likely cause a damaging critical hit on a Theon, which is enough to wipe it from the sky. Like the Praxilla, living after you make that hit is going to be a tricky trick to pull off. Being too aggressive with the Theons will have them caught up in the dreadfort before you know it.

------------

So finally we have the Menedaius (a Spartan king or general I think) and Newton (... guess). Our first repair vessels.

I have very very rarely used repair vessels before. My other main faction is KoB and they do not benefit from repair vessels as much as some other nations, so I have always been more likely to put the points into aggressive ships which deal damage rather than try to fix it. The CoA on the other hand have a few vessels where damage repair would be very handy. Primary turret Aristotle for example (note: taking a primary turret aristotle is silly. Don't do it.) or Cleomedes cruisers. Either way, I do not yet have enough real experience with repair vessels to come to a conclusion on the usefulness of this aspect of the ship yet. So putting that aside for a moment (What? put aside the specialist use of a vessel in a fleet of specialists when trying to evaluate it? What madness is this?)

The Mededaius clocks in at 175 points, which is about as much as a lighter battleship like the FSA Independence or French Magenta. It is also in the region of battle or assault carriers. In our own fleet it is directly competing with the Descartes as a slightly cheaper large vessel. It has DR5 and CR 9 and 8 HP (backed up by inventive shield 3), so not a terribly tough beastie but not too squishy either. It has a good level of elite AP (8) strong ackack (7) and decent CC (5). Oh, and a pathetic IR too, but that hardly matters on this big boat. So far so good.

But what about firepower? A low-cost battleship or similar usually throws about 2 strong attacks and a weaker supplementary one. The Mededaius brings two turrets, either the above standard 9/7/6/4 or a decent 6/6/6/6 energy turret. I suspect energy is probably the way to go with this ship, but the primary spread is not bad and the fact the ship can repair itself may help to offset redoubtable. Turrets link for a 14/11/9/6 or a 9/9/9/9 shot. Additionally the Menedaius brings a strong torpedo array into battle, 12/12/12/12 shield-ignoring torpedoes that travel too fast for enemy CC to link against. And finally as a supplementary it carts around a somewhat uninspiring but still useful 10/8/-/- sturginium munitioned broadside. For comparison the mk1 Descartes brings a 12/12/12/12 energy turret shot, a 12/10/8/6 broadside and an 8/8/8/8 torpedo shot.

Overall so far? The Menedaius seems to bring fairly decent firepower and fairly decent resilience for its points cost. Included in the deal is the rather tasty specialist defences (3) and experienced engineers, making survival just that bit easier for the ship. Fuel reserves is a slight negative of course, but the engineers should have that covered. Strategic value (50) is a tad sad but probably fair. So even without the repair function and its little baby Newtons, the Menedaius is not a bad vessel. It lacks wavelurker and is not terribly powerful but it is far from a liability to include (*cough* Pericles *cough*). Then we consider its true role and function. Repairing. It has 8 repair crew, meaning an average of 6 successes. This means it will not really help out the heavier ships that well but can certainly support medium (if only we had a superb medium section, eh? :P). The problem there is its slow speed. With a movement value of 6 it seems likely that our mediums would far outpace the lumbering lump. Luckily it brings along 4 tiny little repair boats that combine to be almost as effective at repairing as the Menedaius. So while the Newtons go off on their jollys with the medium section, the Menedaius sloops along slowly at the back with the slower larges. Larges that are all too easily crippled by a nasty critical effect. The Menedaius has this covered though, because the Menedaius is educated in solutions! Whilst its repair facility is not likely to repair that much damage on our lager models, it does not need to succeed in its repair to get rid of a critical effect token!

So overall I think the Menedaius does its job in a very good and CoA-styled way. Would I take one? I will certainly try it out a few times. The only consideration is that, due to us being a fleet of specialists, I would need to remove one of the tools in my fleets to make room for this new one. Yay choices :D

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15 hours ago, Thamoz said:

Yay choices :D

This. Options are always amazing, but giving you amazing-options is the better goal. If I had to pick between the dirt-sandwich and the juicy burger, I know what I would go for!

Going to get in the kitchen and serve up a lot more juicy Burgers in 2.5... that's the idea at least! ;)

-Mike

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I'm very wide-eyed and salivating over the Menedaius' 12AD Faster Torpedoes. Should be good for a solid "WTF?!" face from most opponents the first time they feel it ;-)

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2 hours ago, Spartan Mike said:

This. Options are always amazing, but giving you amazing-options is the better goal. If I had to pick between the dirt-sandwich and the juicy burger, I know what I would go for!

Going to get in the kitchen and serve up a lot more juicy Burgers in 2.5... that's the idea at least! ;)

-Mike

The choices are a lot trickier when you have to decide between a juicy burger, steak and chips, etc.

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So, think I will stick this in this thread.

Today I had a few 2.5 games with the new particle accelerator. Notably the Aristotle version. I should say first that these were into games, so the fleets were not optimised and it was meant to be a beginner friendly game. 750 points, no SAW or flyers etc. I played one game with the Aristotle and one against the Aristotle. It is still a liability to have in the front line, though the changed to boarding to benefit it more than I thought it would.

The accelerator though... that big blast... It is not like it used to be. It can't be used pre-emptively, like before to stop a small boarding squad, but it really does punish those who get close, especially if they are in close formation. But more than that, when I was playing against it I was very aware of its destructive power, it made me re-evaluate and reconsider my movement. On the Aristotle, a 7 inch movement battleship but with the potential for 9inches straight forward, a surprisingly large amount of space can be threatened. It doesn't capture the feeling of a particle accelerator like it used to, but this new version does have a use and makes coming close to our fleet a very dangerous proposition. I did not find an issue in placing the blast, but this was a low point game so I did not have many ships that would complicate the placement.

Short ramble over.

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Hello everyone!

It's been a VERY long time, and oh how glad I am to finally come back to Dystopian Wars with my new Kickstarter set arriving on the horizon. And am I filled with joy at seeing familiar faces once again (Hello Thamoz, Nazduruk, Sebenko. I doubt you guys even remember me, lol).

But, back to the goodies.

So it's not been all that long since I've last played DWars, but it has been a very long time since I've been on the forums, and I must say, the current state of the Covenant leaves me... rather disappointed. The change to the Particle Accelerator is, in my opinion, unwarranted and borderline insulting to the fluff and cool factor of the weapon. Of course, I'm not here only to rant, so there are some things I shall express my gratitude for.

I do like the changes to drones (though I think it was a little harsh and either they need to get their default Hunter MARs back or the Combat Coordinators should have vastly improved ranges), as I think they fit the overall 'feel' of their classification as a whole. On the other hand, the Target Painter change is downright terrible for a fleet that relies so heavily on synergy. To be honest, I think it makes -sense-, but it just feels like it hurts us overall without being too much of an impact on other fleets, 'cept maybe the Brits and the Yanks.

Now, I like seeing new toys just as much as anybody, but I just wish the current Covenant could get a nicely fitted bunch of naval vessels for once. Our larges save maybe the new repair ship (awesome thing, by the way) are still pretty much bottom of the barrel. CC (Hunter Submerged +1) on the Aristotle feels like it was just randomly slapped on because reasons. And it's not even +2 like it should be. 

*ahem* Excuse my ranting, everyone. It's good to be back, and I hope to have many more victories with the greatest nation in Dystopian Wars with all of you.

 

P.S RIP Coeus.

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Welcome back Jupy!  Yeah Mike has said that these are the hard fast rules so people can play with their models and not the end product.  From the sound of it Spartan is getting a new team of play testers together to get the factions sorted.

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Welcome back Jujupy! Always a pleasure to see folks come back to the game. 

As noted above, there are a TON of changes coming to the CoA ORBAT and to the Dystopian Wars game in general. The flow at which it was launched, bummed me out with the errors and other gremlins that got in the way of progress, but there is no call to the gravedigger just yet... a ton of awesome suprises are yet to come for all fans old and new! Updates to all these silly errors, statistical improvements and very new and exciting PAGE-1 ORBAT docs for each faction, that will take theme and playstyle to new levels for this edition, giving us a unique opportunity to enhance and update everything that we have loved about the game for years now!

-Mike

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