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Captaincandle

Why Dystpopian Wars is heading for sales failure

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On 9/7/2021 at 8:49 PM, Captaincandle said:

I should also ask people, has anyone actually won a game based of scenario VP's yet? We have had one or two, but tabling your opponent turn 3/4 is basically the standard way to win as far as we can tell, because of how deadly units are to each other. Would love to hear experiences here. Even very sub-optimal units tend to wipe each other out before turn 5. 

Its usually by Victory cards.  Scenario points and squad killer points do pop up, but the Card are what swing it.

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8 hours ago, c2k said:

Its usually by Victory cards.  Scenario points and squad killer points do pop up, but the Card are what swing it.

That's cool, glad someone is making that work. I find the cards too niche to actually get heaps off during a game, instead, the 7 VP minimum from tabling your opponent (plus any full squads killed) is just the easiest to go for. I like the oil rigs one though, that tends to be more tactical. 

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So on the note of winning the game because you table someone, you do not actually win the game. The game ends immediately and you gain 5 VP. By all accounts you are probably going to win buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut you don't just outright win. (SEE page 27 check for victory section) 

On the note of Battle ships not being as good as heavy cruisers it makes sense, look at the points. I agree that right now cruisers seem like a much better option overall but they do cost extra points once they get all the points worked out and the game balanced  a bit more (maybe giving less supporting dice all around) or even upping the HP/A/C of the battle ships I do think that it wont be as one sided as you feel it is. Simply put if your dropping 50% more points into a unit it should be better shouldn't it or fill a specific roll? (and in this game there really isn't any rolls other then blast your opponent into the sea) I think right now the Biggest problem is the crippled battle ship is MUCH worse off then a crippled cruiser in a unit of 3. The effects on the ships are similar (worse on the battle ship a bit) BUT you have 3 models in the cruiser units so its not all or nothing situation. The over all HP is also a little over the top in favor of the cruisers.  All in all I think they just need to keep working on balancing which it seems like A they have been and B they are definitely actively doing.  In my opinion though the biggest upset for the balance of power is still the heavy hit counting as (2)hits.  When you get these huge dice pools with your heavy cruiser units (getting 50 ish attack dice is not really that hard to do)  having heavy hits count as 2 hits is just too good, BUT that is just my opinion. 

 

Borodino Battleship 224pts (3 Heavy gun batteries, (1 Heavy Torpedo salvo) (Heavy Broadside) (Cry Generator and Cryo-Capacitors)

Morozko Heavy Cryo Cruiser (131pts each)  (1 rocket battery) (2 Heavy Gun batteries) (Broadside) (Cryo Generator) 
 (3 cruisers is 393pts) (393-224=169 more points then the battle ship.) 
The full unit would have (3 rocket batteries) (6 Heavy Guns) (broadsides each) (3 Cryo Generators) 

HP 5/5 A5 C10 for each cruiser and HP7/6 A7 C14 

 

As for the SRS tokens, I still don't understand why people are defending this game mechanic. Its not a mater of if its worth the points or not. Its just boring. Other games use this same mechanic and its dual. As for their power I really think they have some neat tricks but honestly, why take a ranged 20" gun in a ocean fight with little to no terrain, when you can get range 30-40 guns all day long. This game is way to alpha strike right now for SRS to be AS GOOD as a normal gun, that being said the ships that get SRS theoretically still  have there own guns but they are more points heavy. In the end  its still a boring mechanic.  Its like always adding soy sauce, sometimes you just need to put on some hot sesame oil instead and it will turn that dish up a notch. 

 

Just my opinions if you disagree Meh no worries.  

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4 hours ago, DrinkDuffLight said:

So on the note of winning the game because you table someone, you do not actually win the game. The game ends immediately and you gain 5 VP. By all accounts you are probably going to win buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut you don't just outright win. (SEE page 27 check for victory section) 

On the note of Battle ships not being as good as heavy cruisers it makes sense, look at the points. I agree that right now cruisers seem like a much better option overall but they do cost extra points once they get all the points worked out and the game balanced  a bit more (maybe giving less supporting dice all around) or even upping the HP/A/C of the battle ships I do think that it wont be as one sided as you feel it is. Simply put if your dropping 50% more points into a unit it should be better shouldn't it or fill a specific roll? (and in this game there really isn't any rolls other then blast your opponent into the sea) I think right now the Biggest problem is the crippled battle ship is MUCH worse off then a crippled cruiser in a unit of 3. The effects on the ships are similar (worse on the battle ship a bit) BUT you have 3 models in the cruiser units so its not all or nothing situation. The over all HP is also a little over the top in favor of the cruisers.  All in all I think they just need to keep working on balancing which it seems like A they have been and B they are definitely actively doing.  In my opinion though the biggest upset for the balance of power is still the heavy hit counting as (2)hits.  When you get these huge dice pools with your heavy cruiser units (getting 50 ish attack dice is not really that hard to do)  having heavy hits count as 2 hits is just too good, BUT that is just my opinion. 

 

Borodino Battleship 224pts (3 Heavy gun batteries, (1 Heavy Torpedo salvo) (Heavy Broadside) (Cry Generator and Cryo-Capacitors)

Morozko Heavy Cryo Cruiser (131pts each)  (1 rocket battery) (2 Heavy Gun batteries) (Broadside) (Cryo Generator) 
 (3 cruisers is 393pts) (393-224=169 more points then the battle ship.) 
The full unit would have (3 rocket batteries) (6 Heavy Guns) (broadsides each) (3 Cryo Generators) 

HP 5/5 A5 C10 for each cruiser and HP7/6 A7 C14 

 

As for the SRS tokens, I still don't understand why people are defending this game mechanic. Its not a mater of if its worth the points or not. Its just boring. Other games use this same mechanic and its dual. As for their power I really think they have some neat tricks but honestly, why take a ranged 20" gun in a ocean fight with little to no terrain, when you can get range 30-40 guns all day long. This game is way to alpha strike right now for SRS to be AS GOOD as a normal gun, that being said the ships that get SRS theoretically still  have there own guns but they are more points heavy. In the end  its still a boring mechanic.  Its like always adding soy sauce, sometimes you just need to put on some hot sesame oil instead and it will turn that dish up a notch. 

 

Just my opinions if you disagree Meh no worries.  

Yeah, I'm aware about the 5vp thing, but I appreciate you writing it down, because I hadn't yet. You get 7 minimum for a table (5 for wiping your opponent, 2 for his capital (he loses one, you gain one... difference of two)). Plus you got 1 vp for every squadron you killed with multiple units in it. It's kinda hard to swing that many VP's with cards and in-game victory points. 

I mean, I wouldn't even compare to heavy cruisers, the "basic" 88 point cruiser (88 points right now anyways). In the Commonwealth case that is the Kutsovs. They just hit way harder, and nuking one is no-where near as big a deal as your crippled Capital ship which has just ceded a VP...

I appreciate everyone who has commented, whether they agree or not. My goal was to get people talking, and see if I had the right of it, or if there were good reasons to dissent. I'm not here to simply argue for the sake of arguing, which is why I am encouraging people to talk. My discussion with C2K was really valuable to me because it gave me insight into other ways of thinking. I disagree with it, but Just because I disagree doesn't mean it isn't helpful or doesn't contribute meaningfully. 

Lol, hot sesame oil. If I was any good with food, I'd totally comment :lol:.

I think SRS needed changing from the old game, it was over-complicated and massively slowed down gameplay. The Aesthetics of the game is WW1 steampunk tech, and SRS are really not in that aesthetic too much. SRS are a good idea, but their current iteration to me seems pretty useless given the cost. One of the things I have noticed is that there isn't really a lot of thought to go into orbats. Because the game really only has the dimension of attack, I just pick whatever hits the hardest, and go from there. With Shroud Generators being the only defensive tool being worth it (except probably the Empire Generator, that thing is nuts), you just don't need to think much about ORBAT choices. I think the lack of differentiation in guns is a massive contributor to this effect in the game, and I think it makes for a bad game to be honest. Generators like the cryo generator had to get an attack effect to make them good, because the game focusses so strongly on attack, and units move so far. There are so many manifestations of this problem, which is why I made my OP, to try and talk about it and hopefully get some attention from the devs about it. I think people generally want this game to succeed and work, but I know nothing of the devs or how they may take this kind of observation so hopefully it is received well and thoughtfully.

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10 hours ago, DrinkDuffLight said:

  When you get these huge dice pools with your heavy cruiser units (getting 50 ish attack dice is not really that hard to do)  having heavy hits count as 2 hits is just too good, BUT that is just my opinion. 

 

Out of curiosity, who can pull that off?  I think the most I've seen is 35 dice in a pool.  I suppose you could get to 44 dice if you get in the most perfect position at closing range with the heaviest of cruisers, but that means your opponent blundered. Unless you are referring to old orbats before they did reign in the supporting fire about 3 months ago. 

 

I still stand my stance regarding SRS and respect your opinion of SRS gameplay,  however I really don't have an opinion on the aesthetics of SRS;  I just see them as part of the game. 

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18 hours ago, c2k said:

Out of curiosity, who can pull that off?  I think the most I've seen is 35 dice in a pool.  I suppose you could get to 44 dice if you get in the most perfect position at closing range with the heaviest of cruisers, but that means your opponent blundered. Unless you are referring to old orbats before they did reign in the supporting fire about 3 months ago. 

 

I still stand my stance regarding SRS and respect your opinion of SRS gameplay,  however I really don't have an opinion on the aesthetics of SRS;  I just see them as part of the game. 

They might have been over-stating for sarcastic effect (that's actually how I normally talk, being super conscious of it on the forum to be as accurate as possible :p), I can't think of anything that gets 50 dice currently. Some of the twin-gun destroyers with old pack hunter could get very close though. Sigimer destroyers could get to 49 in a group of 6. That's all gone now thankfully. Having said that, they get to 39 now which is still a huge dice pool for very small ships. 

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I also dunno about blundered. you can be in closing range by turn 2 easily enough with just about anything. If you have the better of activations you can force your opponent to move his navy all first then respond with your heavy cruisers. If you have a good initiative card that basically means ~20" of movement before your opponent can react to them. That's plenty of movement to get into closing range. I've kinda seen two major tactics so far: 1) is border edge hugging with extreme range weapons or very powerful long range weapons to maximise time outside of the enemies strike zone, and standard move up the board. Because the RB's are slightly longer, I have found it to have a huge effect on getting people into optimum range bands and time those strikes. Even a battleship moves 8" a turn, nearly a whole RB by itself. 

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Its not about getting into closing range, but more about being exposed to that amount of shots.  The Sigmier does seems to be one of the anomalies of this, however they also are glass cannons upon looking at their stats and are susceptible to long range fire, so you can't be too sloppy with them. 

Also, out of curiosity, do most people play on a 3x3 or a 4x4 map? In addition, are the battles open seas or have a few terrain pieces in play? 

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Yeah they are mass1 units, so you can whittle them down easily enough. About half of the current nations have twin-gun mass 1 units available. 

We play on 4x4, 3x3 is friggin tiny. We always play with terrain. 3 land, 3 varying mass obstacles and 2-3 dangerous waters. But with no guide from the devs, hard to know if that is too much or too little terrain. Terrain massively changes which units are more or less effective. In my mind, as per my OP, it should be really clear so everyone has the same standard. You can always play with less or more, but with a baseline you should be able to see what kind of effect that will have on the playability of units. Right now, I have no idea if units are balanced towards open sees, or thick island fighting...

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50ish was just rounding up a bit, currently 44 seems to be the max I can figure out with (3)ships. The heavy cruisers get 2 heavy weapons and one normal each. That number would drop down to 30-35ish with (med??) cruisers and then your looking at like 25 with a squad of your smallest cruisers (4) ships.  

 

I played a game this week and wanted to test the shroud generator and it seemed to be really good, but it really feels like the only one other then maybe special faction generators that is worth taking. From what I have seen all the faction generators are internal though, so they are not even taking up a weapon slot though. I am unsure if it was worth taking over a weapon still but, If generators didn't take a weapon slot then it wouldn't be a big deal if they were a little underwhelming. 

 

I do agree Captaincandle that they old SRS rules were to much to keep track of, but I still just don't like the current way they are played. 

 

 

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5 hours ago, DrinkDuffLight said:

50ish was just rounding up a bit, currently 44 seems to be the max I can figure out with (3)ships. The heavy cruisers get 2 heavy weapons and one normal each. That number would drop down to 30-35ish with (med??) cruisers and then your looking at like 25 with a squad of your smallest cruisers (4) ships.  

 

I played a game this week and wanted to test the shroud generator and it seemed to be really good, but it really feels like the only one other then maybe special faction generators that is worth taking. From what I have seen all the faction generators are internal though, so they are not even taking up a weapon slot though. I am unsure if it was worth taking over a weapon still but, If generators didn't take a weapon slot then it wouldn't be a big deal if they were a little underwhelming. 

 

I do agree Captaincandle that they old SRS rules were to much to keep track of, but I still just don't like the current way they are played. 

 

 

Really glad you got a game in! That's ultimately what this is all about right? Playing games with our war dollies ;).

Yeah the weapon slot is a big call. I think it ends up being worth it on capitals because of the VP thing, and if you manage to weaken each other evenly over the fight, a BB with a shroud is very hard to put down when most units are crippled or missing ships vs one that doesn't have one. It's worth experimenting with on cruisers, but I agree that offense is just so damn important losing half of your firepower or so feels pretty weak as a choice. Lol, the Crown internal one is so bad that even being internal doesn't save it. You have to buy so many useless shield generators that it's just awful. Only a few can have the Guardian AND a shield generator and 3 dice just isn't good enough for the huge cost they pay for shield generators.

Yeah, SRS feel gimmicky now to be honest, which is a shame because the rules themselves look like a fair bit of thought went into them to make them work differently. Just not sure they hit the mark on them. Part of the creative process though. find something that doesn't work, file it away as a lesson learnt, think of something else, or tweak it. 

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Certain ships can definitely make use of the Fury generator, as assaults can be far deadlier than just normal shooting.  There may also be a case for the Repulsion generator, as it can be used to get ships in closer or launch a surprise ramming attack or the Empire torrent attack. 

I will agree I would feel bad paying pts for a Shield Generator, but I will take the free upgrades that some ships get, like the the Enlightened ships.  I haven't really analyzed the Crown stuff, and while I think the Shield generator would be interesting, I think its over-costed atm.  I'm sure its balance precaution, but I would guess it gets reduced in a future orbat update. 

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On 9/19/2021 at 7:13 PM, c2k said:

Certain ships can definitely make use of the Fury generator, as assaults can be far deadlier than just normal shooting.  There may also be a case for the Repulsion generator, as it can be used to get ships in closer or launch a surprise ramming attack or the Empire torrent attack. 

I will agree I would feel bad paying pts for a Shield Generator, but I will take the free upgrades that some ships get, like the the Enlightened ships.  I haven't really analyzed the Crown stuff, and while I think the Shield generator would be interesting, I think its over-costed atm.  I'm sure its balance precaution, but I would guess it gets reduced in a future orbat update. 

They aren't free upgrades, they are considered in the points cost of the unit, it's just not an option for additional points. Your ship would be cheaper without it built-in. The repulsor is just awful. Sacrificing minimum 1/3 of your firepower to skim? Sure, you might 1 game in 10 surprise someone, but you just wait for it to be over terrain, play the card to shut down generator and it goes boom. It's something you can keep an eye out for in your hand when your opponent lets you know what they have. If they avoid that then why bring the repulse generator? It's not just the points, you also lose the firepower. 

Fury is actually OK, I will definitely pay that. Assaults are reeeeeeally risky. If you fluff your role they can blow up your ship, and citadels aren't exactly low numbers of dice... You want only overwhelming force in my opinion, the risk of taking damage if you fluff your role is way too high. Hell, every success after the 4th over your opponent does a point of damage, so if you guess wrong you can have your ship crippled quickly. The irony being lightly crewed ships like destroyers and such usually end up being better borders than ships with much larger crews... 

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7 hours ago, Captaincandle said:

They aren't free upgrades, they are considered in the points cost of the unit, it's just not an option for additional points. Your ship would be cheaper without it built-in. The repulsor is just awful. Sacrificing minimum 1/3 of your firepower to skim? Sure, you might 1 game in 10 surprise someone, but you just wait for it to be over terrain, play the card to shut down generator and it goes boom. It's something you can keep an eye out for in your hand when your opponent lets you know what they have. If they avoid that then why bring the repulse generator? It's not just the points, you also lose the firepower. 
 

The idea is not to end your activation on terrain, as the card that can turn generators offline can only be played during an attack on  a target, not during the opponent's movement.  Repulsion can allow you to ram or get into point blank range quickly for those ships that would benefit from those actions.  For example, take a Dao Light Cruiser group and replace the HGB with a Repulsion generator and they could use the skimming to launch their Huoquiang attacks on a unit, and may even be in assault range afterward.  Or even replace the Khatanga's rear gun with a Repulsion generator so that it can move over its own icebergs and/or terrain to pull off a ramming maneuver.  Between the ramming, Broadside shots, and assault(assuming you don't whiff the ramming roll), that is a lot of damage you can do to a whole unit in one activation. 

And yes, they are not free upgrades, but if they are around the 3-5 range, in most units its a 9-15 point drain, which isn't too bad. 

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Ah, excellent point, I completely forgot you can only turn off a generator when firing at a squadron!

Those are some interesting ideas. they don't feel very good, for example, on a cruiser because the Huoquiang really needs to be fired independently against units, and cause damage to get it's benefits, which has only worked for me against destroyers. Point blank for guns is bad, but broadsides are OK in that range. I virtually never get to ram because anything that close is so damaged or dead I'd just lose the unit if I roll a "6". Interesting tactical ideas though, I'll be sure to give them a chance in some games (when I get the chance of course).

I wouldn't ever assault with a cruiser to be honest, unless I had killed the defences earlier. If a full dao squadron assaulted itself (mirror matching), the offensive party gets 11 dice, and the defender gets 15... Not exactly great odds. maybe I use assaulting wrong? Use it to finish off basically dead ships? But considering how few guns are actually good in close range, it would be a pretty unlikely scenario...

On the Khatanga, my first thought is why aren't you taking a Tobolsk instead! :p But on a serious note, the Ice bergs are kinda eh, to stop someone shooting at you, you need to roll a 6, otherwise they can just shoot over it. You can't put it within 5" of a model so going around it isn't difficult either,  so you lose virtually no speed going round them. I mean, the ram is solid, 18 dice is good, but ram is affected by obscured (for some odd reason) and 18 is a little low to hope for good damage with no explosions. Still, it would be a solid hit. I assume if a unit is expected to take fire, it needs a shroud generator, it will do wonders for survivability. It's pretty darn hard to line up a ram without turning, so you won't get the hammer sweep and if you do, you almost certainly won't be getting broadsides on the target. I feel like sitting back and shooting at the target is a much better option. I mean, I think the Khatanga is an enormous waste of points, but trying to think how it could be useful. The cryo-generator is a bloody weak generator, I just don't think the icebergs are good enough. For every 2 of them I get 3 khutsovs, and I'd rather the khutsovs hands down. I noticed with the Khtanga again the only way the devs can makle units viable is more guns, so it got a rocket battery... There really is a repeating pattern here... Back on topic, at RB2, you can get 15 dice from guns, 6 from the rocket, 4 from the broadside. The ram nets you 18 dice, guns are likely 8, and rockets 6. In this instance the ram is the better option agreed. However, you need to traverse a LOT of ground to ram something, unless your opponent is just YOLO'ing at you? chances of your opponent going "I sure hope he doesn't ram me with that dedicated ramming ship" are pretty darn low. even with skimming, keeping the range is the ideal scenario, but you could be on to something using it as a dead-zones unit to control your enemies movements... that has real potential. Board control and making your opponent activate stuff is pretty critical. 

Where did you get the points for in-built generators from? Is there a resource we can look at that kind of thing? It strikes me as super strange something in-built is cheaper than replacing a gun...

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If you get 3 Dao in range for their Hoquiang, you can end up doing 5-6 hull points to w/e they hit, as long as you get the minimum hits to breach armor.  Afterwards, And if you can get positioning, you can force another disorder condition due to collision or Full Reverse. 

I will agree that Dao are not the best Assault ships available, but Assault does favor the attacker because the attacker can get exploding hits provided the defender isn't obscured.  And you can further the odds with SRS tokens, because you can remove an SRS token to add a dice to the Assault along side ship support(which is +2 per ship), where as the defender only gets help from escorts and their own SRS.  So the Dao vs. Dao scenario could end up in favor of the assaulting Dao.  But you wouldn't want to chance this against a Lionhearted unit. 

The Cryo-generator is better for littering the map with terrain rather than attacking units.  Using it as an attack is only beneficial if you can get the most out of its blast.  There was a batrep posted by the esoteric order of gamers recently where the Commonwealth player used his cryo-generator and destroyed a unit of 5 Merian Frigates at around the 28 minute mark.  But, its still better used trying to force your opponent out of position.  As far as the Repulsion generator on them,  or any ship in commonwealth, it would make Hammer sweep more of a reality. 

In regards to the generators, I was replacing the aft gun on most ships, and the Dao i was replacing the HGB.  The only factionthat can replace internal generators to my knowledge is Enlightened, because a lot of their cruisers have internal shields that can be swapped. 

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12 hours ago, c2k said:

If you get 3 Dao in range for their Hoquiang, you can end up doing 5-6 hull points to w/e they hit, as long as you get the minimum hits to breach armor.  Afterwards, And if you can get positioning, you can force another disorder condition due to collision or Full Reverse. 

I will agree that Dao are not the best Assault ships available, but Assault does favor the attacker because the attacker can get exploding hits provided the defender isn't obscured.  And you can further the odds with SRS tokens, because you can remove an SRS token to add a dice to the Assault along side ship support(which is +2 per ship), where as the defender only gets help from escorts and their own SRS.  So the Dao vs. Dao scenario could end up in favor of the assaulting Dao.  But you wouldn't want to chance this against a Lionhearted unit. 

The Cryo-generator is better for littering the map with terrain rather than attacking units.  Using it as an attack is only beneficial if you can get the most out of its blast.  There was a batrep posted by the esoteric order of gamers recently where the Commonwealth player used his cryo-generator and destroyed a unit of 5 Merian Frigates at around the 28 minute mark.  But, its still better used trying to force your opponent out of position.  As far as the Repulsion generator on them,  or any ship in commonwealth, it would make Hammer sweep more of a reality. 

In regards to the generators, I was replacing the aft gun on most ships, and the Dao i was replacing the HGB.  The only factionthat can replace internal generators to my knowledge is Enlightened, because a lot of their cruisers have internal shields that can be swapped. 

Sorry, but I certainly cannot agree assaults favour attackers.  They get an average of about 7-10 dice (of course there are dedicated vesels getting more) and face an average of about 14 dice back. Sure, they get Exploding Hits, but given you need to win by 5 points to do anything of substance in victory?  With 5 of the 60 V/V cards counting Explosions on defence and 10 more of them being rerolls, I would say that the odds almost always favour the defender. 

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The worst thing that can happen to the assaulting ship is it takes 1 hull point and the worst thing that can happen to a defending ship is it gets removed from the board.  I would say 3 hits would be a substantial victory, though if your target is in Chaos & disarray, 1 hit isn't bad.  The card that makes Exploding hits count as heavy counters is a great way to mitigate an attack and push for the counter attack, but you don't generate new dice on the defense roll.

  I don't really count the re-roll cards as a pro for the defender, only because the attacker can play their own re-roll as well if their initial roll was poor.  Its more like a wash and doesn't really favor anyone unless one of the players doesn't have it in hand or on command. 

Again, not every ship is made for assaulting, and regarding the Dao, I wouldn't throw it up against a ship that was great at assaulting, such as the Crown Lionhearted ships.   The Dao is perfectly fine just running up with its Hoquiang and causing that much disruption.  Different situations call for different tactics. 

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6 hours ago, c2k said:

The worst thing that can happen to the assaulting ship is it takes 1 hull point and the worst thing that can happen to a defending ship is it gets removed from the board.  I would say 3 hits would be a substantial victory, though if your target is in Chaos & disarray, 1 hit isn't bad.  The card that makes Exploding hits count as heavy counters is a great way to mitigate an attack and push for the counter attack, but you don't generate new dice on the defense roll.

  I don't really count the re-roll cards as a pro for the defender, only because the attacker can play their own re-roll as well if their initial roll was poor.  Its more like a wash and doesn't really favor anyone unless one of the players doesn't have it in hand or on command. 

Again, not every ship is made for assaulting, and regarding the Dao, I wouldn't throw it up against a ship that was great at assaulting, such as the Crown Lionhearted ships.   The Dao is perfectly fine just running up with its Hoquiang and causing that much disruption.  Different situations call for different tactics. 

Every point of difference after 4 successes causes an additional hull point of damage. It can be way worse than 1 damage. 

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8 hours ago, Captaincandle said:

Every point of difference after 4 successes causes an additional hull point of damage. It can be way worse than 1 damage. 

It can't.  The reason it works like that for the attacker is every hit above 4 deals a damage according to the table.  It says at 4+ Counters "The attacker takes one hull point", but doesn't say anything about subsequent counters.

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I'm going to caveat this post by saying I'm annoyed that I saw VERY similar stats across nations on this topic, and found it easy to generalise. This swings back round to my OP about lack of substance differences between nations, and it seems it also extends to something like boarding. Very disappointing. There were two actual standouts: Prussia was solid at boarding, Antarticans weak as all merry hell (please avoid boarding if you can... acknowledging they are mainly a mid-short range nation). But yeah, very little differences otherwise. In assaults it might be good to avoid too much difference, I don't know. It would likely be something I accept if the rest of the game didn't have the same issue.

OK, I've sat down to look at Assaults across the different factions and in ~70% of cases assaults are a bad idea. There are a whole bunch of caveats in this topic, because what opponent you assault and when has a pretty drastic impact on how likely you will be to cause damage. Generally, a rule of thumb is unless you are Prussian, specifically a mass 1 unit that is still full with voltaic weapons, don't assault capital ships. It's got to be the one thing capital ships are actually good at doing (sadly because boarding is one of those rarely used tools because it is tactically opportunistic in nature, outside of a Prussian lightning assault unit using speed to close) but ultimately, the math speaks for itself, they are insanely hard to overcome when boarding, even when crippled. Cruisers are more achievable for a dedicated boarding group with full vessels, but when looking at averages for roles, a capital ship will struggle to overwhelm a cruiser meaningfully without repeated boarding attempts and being slower there is basically no way to keep that 4" range easily for more than one turn. Other cruisers are extremely high priority for gunnery fire when closing, so are unlikely to be at full strength when finally manoeuvring every ship into 4" of another cruiser (which feels pretty weak given you can be sure you're giving up good firing arcs just do do a few points of damage.... however if the unit has a decent combined broadside this might be viable as a way to kill a cruiser). Destroyers probably overall have the best chances of both boarding other destroyers or other sized vessels. Even here, they are barely scrapping in a point of two on average (except against another destroyer they will average kill it comfortably if all 6 are in 4 " of it but good luck manoeuvring into that mess of a formation). Again, Prussians with voltaic weapons on average have a much better time of this and I could legit recommend as an action you are intending to take in your planning. Whether you have +1's or +2's from rules can skew your unit into decent territory for boarding (pack hunter or lightning assault are two examples). 

Overall, Assault is quite weak, but opportunistically potentially OK. The issue is partly the on-paper numbers of dice... Citadels are just so high that the base pool plus support plus your highest defence dice pool is just way too high to meaningfully overcome unless you got the whole squadron in range. Even a destroyer is rocking an average of 11 dice in defence plus support ships...  This hits the tactical problem of it's actually really hard to do this in the field. You SHOULD be prioritising maximal range firepower. That's not to say that opportunities don't present themselves to squeeze out a bit more efficiency through a boarding, and I encourage that kind of adaptable tactical thinking, but the units best suited for boarding get pretty clustered around a target and unless you are VERY careful in your planning (and even then, the chaos of a human making unusual decisions will regularly throw you) you'll be blocking shots through your own models a lot of the time. 

However, this all assumes the most optimal opportunity for attacker and defender. There will be cases where your full cruiser squadron is passing a lone cruiser and not firing in those arcs (as an example). Here, assuming you didn't interfere with your gunnery, it MIGHT be a good idea to board it with all three cruisers (one main, two support). You're dice are still VERY close to the line, and it's a risk. in raw numbers in the cruiser category (ignoring the Prussians for a moment) the Commonwealth and the Empire had some of the highest average numbers in cruiser assault dice, and that average was 12... in defence, across the board, you can expect cruisers to be somewhere in the 13 dice category in the are alone and un-crippled. That's doable but risky, especially when factoring in card options. You know what you have, but not your opponent so if you don't have a re-roll card in hand, it's pretty risky and honestly, it feels dumb to blow a re-roll card on a boarding action like that unless you are desperate (I've done it in desperation, still feels bad, usually means I'm losing badly too so it's unlikely to ****** me the game). 

Now there are occasionally times when you can make a unit look great at boarding on paper (the cryo cruiser for the Russians comes to mind).  Beware angling towards that given how rare boarding is. I would always recommend look at the output of the unit over a game, not in a single instance (unless that instance is insanely decisive in nature). It's very very very easy to craft a scenario where a unit may be good, but think if that scenario is likely, easy to engineer on the table and regular in games. If the answer was no to most or all of those, that means it's probably not a good tactic or unit (depending on what you are assessing).  There were some genuine standouts in the Prussian navy, and they can consistently board safely and reliably (that second one being the most important). I think boarding needs some tweaking, but the mechanic itself is actually really good, and gives a sense of fire and steel when you roll up next to a unit and give them cold steel. If it was a more reliable tool I might try and reach for it outside of opportunistic scenarios. I'm lucky, I've played a lot of my games as Prussians, so I knew the feel of assault well from their angle, and they are legitimately good at it... but sometimes manoeuvring into position can be a mess and result in problems with gunnery. 

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Well, new orbats were posted and it involves the generators being re-worded and now costing a flat +10 pt swap.  Buffed Magnetic and Repulsion; weakened Fury and Atomic.  Shield stayed the same.   They changed some of the faction generators, and removed some generics generators as well.  (Commonwealth no longer gets Repulsion Generators :sadface:)

I am uncertain of what to make of the Shroud Generator.  They also reworded it that the attacker can ignore the ship as the Initial Target.  The rules haven't been been updated, but I speculate they are going to change how Initial Targets are chosen and maybe they are introducing screening. 

I will reiterate my point from an earlier post that I wish orbat changes were announced in some way.  They don't have to go into detail, just a "Hey, we updated the rules to these factions". 

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The update looks like its going in a good direction but I have not gotten to play with the new orbits. Honestly though the constant support is awesome (thumbs up team). However, why do we still not have Saltanate or Alliance. Or at the very least have a descent ORBAT for them so older players can just use their models and get back into the game. I understand they want to push sales when they do finally release them, but having (2)ships other then flagships for The Alliance and (4?) for the Saltanate is just kind of depressing. It's causing a lot of disinterest in my gaming group.  If they had a solid ORBAT with the same about of ships that came out at 3.0 release that would even be cool (4-5) cruisers (2)flags, and a small.  I guess it is what it is but I hope the last (2) factions get some love before they keep dropping new stuff for everyone else. Or at the rate they are going at lest before the end of the year. 

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