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Official Thread: League Of Italian States

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The frigate was a destroyer to begin with and it was pretty reasonable in power with it. But back then pack hunter applied to all weapons. I suggest limiting it to the torpedoes, but if you couple that with the AD reduction from the turret from 7 to 6 in RB1, the frigate loses no AD (its has 26AD to throw out now, and it would still throw out 26AD with this change) bur you'd roll 15AD in RB1 instead of the 18AD we do now. In RB2 that decreases to 10AD instead of 13AD. One weapon system gets better, but not too much better, the other weapon gets worse, but not by much.

All it would do is give the frigates a bit more punch with the torpedoes when shooting at mediums and larges, giving them a chance to critical them. 8AD just does not do that well. And it would only give +1 extra dice to roll against smalls if you link two models together instead of the whole squadron. So instead of 5AD you get 6AD.

Also, the frigate has a lot of competition from the corvette, and the corvette wins out more often than not for me because its 6s to hit from capitals. And there's an extra model for 5pts more than the frigates.

As I said, the gladius itself is fine, but it is not worth 85pts with the Uccisore. I'd accept it at 80pts with them, but not 85pts.

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@Merlin (and others): Thanks for the interesting feedback. As a long time LoIS player and member of the Focus group, I'll try to reply to some of these things to explain my view.

 

Hasta: No doubt needs some tweaks. The regarding DR/CR and CP/Squad Support seem logical.

Gladius: Here I pesonally disagree. The Gladius is one of these models were balance was fragile, they went through a couple of iterations during the creation of DW 2.0 rules. Of all these the current setup including pointcosts seems to give a very interesting choice for a cruiser model and a imho very good balance. Having the Uccisores as possible upgrade is nice to have in an ORBAT that does not have many options for tweaks (in using the last couple of points). The main problem for the Gladius right now actually is the...

Minerva... which needs (small) tweaks and will be fine.

Small turret: I agree these are not consistent and it usually is a aim to get the same turret with the same stats on the battlefield, if this is possible regarding internal and external Balance. For the LoIS this simply does not work. The small deviations from the standard turret (7/5/3/-) for the Mars, the Gladius and the Minerva are important to keep the balance.

Stilettos: Most people agree those need some tweaks, they are not awful, but to be honest a couple of Cinquedeas is better at anti air duty in every rangeband right now.

Cinquedea: Here people should not think of a destroyer, but of a frigate. This was a deliberate design intention as the model simply is rather a frigate than a destroyer and it is always nice to have space for a possible future destroyer model... So think of it as a frigate and it is a nice (but fragile) one. Imho looking at the model (6! smokestacks) it could do with just a tiny bit more speed which would help with the hit&run as well.

 

All in all, without saying too much, all of these things (and some more) have had quite some attention during testing and I really hope we can present you the conclusions some time soon.

 

@Presidente: I think you made a good observation regarding the Cruiser vs. Battlecruiser balance. However I think it is a very fickle thing for most of these "duels" and it does not apply to all of the Cruisers/Factions. Imho looking at the LoIS example, a small tone down for the Minerva would be enough to fix the "Issue" even more so as the Gladii bring the same amount of activations. Or for the KoB balance is fine imho (personally I prefer the double Lord Hood, but I know enough players who'd rather go with 3 Tribals). Reading the Forums the Cleomedes seems to get quite some love by CoA players as it is a wonderful allrounder by the way.

 

Cheers

 

R

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I like the LoIS orbat, it is one of the better ones imo and is fun to play with. Minerva could use a slight tap with the nerf bat but personally I find them easy to cope with (it is nice to find a battlecruiser that is easier to board than the CoA battleship :P). They make very fine prizes!

Regarding the Uccisore upgrade, I look at it this way: Would I pay 30 points for a squadron of Uccisore if they were not attached to the cruisers? Yes I would. Therefore the cruiser upgrade is a fine option! Gladius are also one of my favourite cruisers, they hit like a brick in a sock in another brick! The upgrade puts their points cost quite high, but the uccisore squadron tends to be worth it in my opinion.

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@Rufus

Thanks for addressing these, however I have some queries:

Small turret: I fail to see the how moving to 8/6/4 as standard would break the balance of the Italians. I mean all it would do is add One more dice to the AD pool, which is hardly game breaking, in my experience. Care to elaborate more on this??

I wasn't suggesting the frigates get bumped back up to Destroyer. But I do believe the Torpedoes need a bit of a boost, and pack tactics was the least painful idea I had. But to balance that out the turret fire had to come down a peg.

And its not like their aren't small class vessel, other than the Destroyers that have Pack Tactics. The Russian Interceptors have pack tactics Fore gun and AA (which is broken beyond belief in my opinion) for example.

No arguments about the Minerva.

Aa to the Gladius, I don't agree that it is good to have options, when the option is such a no brainer to bring.

If you want options, why not give it an option to increase its shield by 1 for 15pts??

If it has the Uccisore as standard, and it cost 80pts base, the extra 15pts would bring it up to Mk2 Skaggerak levels of points.

Few extra thoughts there. Sorry if it seems.......confrontational.

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@Merlin: That's perfectly fine and I'll happily reply:

 

@Small turret: Units like the Gladius, Minerva, Affondatore really don't need any more dice (same goes for the Frigate which already has some very strong dice pools for its main weapon). The small difference on the small turret gives the Mars an edge compared to the Affondatore and again to the Minerva. Depending on the firing mode and the damage the model has taken it varies. It never is a big difference, but it is enough to give the Mars an edge. In RB I+II an undamaged Mars gains interesting options to fire more (up to 6) attacks against targets on one side of the ship while eg the Minerva (or Affondatore (depending on damage level) will rely on linking the small turrets into bigger dice pools. The Mars 11+11+12 (RBI undamaged) is pretty sexy for example (Minerva would do 11+11+9).

 

@Gladius (incl. small turret): Looking at the Gladius a bigger AD pool on the small turret would simply unbalance an already very good Cruiser. They already have some of the very best AD pools for all Cruiser in their favourite rangebands, they have great speed and very high damage resistance and they have the option to bring an additional activation. The comparison with the fragile KoD gunships imho is misleading. Critting a KoD gunship is easier to achieve than putting a single damage on 1 gladius (at least assuming standard gunnery). To make it short: The current Gladii are well worth their 75/85 points.

 

Maybe there is an inclination to go for the Uccisores (this may vary depending on the matchup). However, keeping the option gives more room in list creation and for something the current Orbat is missing...

 

@Cinquedea: The torpedoes on the frigates simply are not meant to take out enemy capitals, however 8AD faster torps are enough to damage most mediums and do an occasional crit on enemy cruiser/gunship/BC class vessels. Fired at enemy smalls they are a pretty good chance of getting rid of one of those. That aside there is the nice option to fire 2x5 torps against the same target which again has a good chance for damage against smalls and mediums. Just noting: The Cinquedea can dish out more hurt than pretty much any other frigate and the Cinquedea can use several interesting firing (each frigate on its own, link two turrets for 11/8/5 or link all turrets).

 

Even with a "low" model count, the LoIS have a very well rounded ORBAT that allows for different fleet builds. They are pretty competitive without being broken as a faction and if we can smoothen some of the edges remaining, we have a gem of an ORBAT here.

 

R

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Small Turrets: I wasn't suggesting in increasing the AD on the Cruiser or Frigate. The cruiser would stay the same AD as it is now. Just models like the Affondatore and Hasta would get boosted up to 8/6/4 like the Mars. That was what I was suggesting.

The frigate was to get 6/4/2 on the turret, but that was to coincide with the torpedo boost I envisioned so it still could do a lot of damage. Just in slightly more interesting ways, making more use of the Italians torpedo advantage, which is vastly under developed within the force.

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As a long time LoIS player (my main faction since 1.1) i will give a short feedback on the different units from my point of view.

 

Larges:

 

Affendatore: For me this is the most iconic italian unit and the backbone of my army most of the time. It´s pretty heavy in points but has some pretty nice features. The output is quite nice (when undamaged), it has some nice defensive stats (not that common for LoIS) and brings a good amount of TFT´s and Uccisore. The huge shape of the models makes it pretty easy to cover some of our vulnerable mediums for the first couple of turns as well. The major drawbacks on the other side are the AD distribution (output drops pretty fast when hurt) and the danger of boarding (high points combined with SV and low number of AP). Even though boarding can be made harder with escorts and cap this is the main problem since almost each nation has some way to get rid of crew even before boarding.

 

Mars: Honestly i dont like it that much. The output is allmost the same as the Affendatore (1AD more on raised turrets and broadsides which are useless more than 90% of the games). The output drops even faster (try to use broadsides when damaged) and the 7HP are just not enough. I only use it from time to time because i want to play the model, but in a competitive environment i would always play a affendatore (more activations, HP, and output with Uccisore and TFT´s) or Ballistae instead. The Mars needs a major buff to make it a viable option, maybe a boost in HP and redoutable on some weapons (not sure about this one tbh).

 

Ballistae: Apretty solid sky fortress with nice defensive stats while being obscured. Fore guns and bomb bays are good. I still don´t like it´s broadsides and the option of area bombardment would be nice. This would give a chance for more positional play and handling enemy corvettes. But overall a nice option.

 

Mediums:

 

Minerva: The best unit in the orbat! Hands down this unit brings a frightening amount of AD combined with a calcification generator (my playgroup hates them). The ship is a glasscannon though (even more than other bc´s) and can be boarded really easy so it needs good positional play. Even as an italian player i think this could use a very slight nerf.

 

Gladius: Our only cruiser brings a high output in closer rangebands and is pretty fragile with only 4HP. I really like the design because this feels how i think of the italian fleet. A deadly fast unit which gives a good punch if they can close the distance safely. The uccisores are a nice option since this is almost the only way of spending remaining points (additional options in the LoIS orbat would be welcome).

 

Hasta: Now things are getting difficult! Event when obscured it´s way to easy to bring this baby down. The low DR and CR rating combined with the low HP value of most italian units don´t justify spending 100pts. The offensive output is not that great either with the lack of any MARS (except area bombard) combined with the bad fire arc of its fore guns. Compared to heavy bombers of the 7 major nations, this unit needs serious revision!

 

Pilum: I liked the idea of getting a soutship when the new airbox came out. This gives the option to play a more agressive list with greater focus on boarding. It is pretty fast, brings a nice amount of elite ap and comes with some solid bomb bays. The output of the foreguns on the other hand is not that good. Compared with other orbats they lack either a good amount of AD or good MAR since the bad fire arc doesn´t make this any better. The option for MKII sounds nice on paper, but after my gameplay experience i dont field it to often. The generator can´t be used while being obscured (correct me if i´m wrong) and with a rating of 4/5/5 your enemy can focus the MKII down and score easy 90pts. I would like the addition of a MAR here (maybe air hunter or piercing?).

 

Fortuna (edited): A very good unit, before they got nerfed in 2.0. With the loss of rangeband 4 and shields they can be shot down pretty easily. Another problem is the torpedos being the only weapon system. Flyers ignore them completly and against anything else your enemy gets to use CC. Since 2.0 they are low level flyers now which means they can ignore enemy fighters which could be really nice (credits to Nazduruk). I´m not completly sure and need more games before i make a final judgement for them.

 

Smalls:

 

Cinqueda: I like to think of them as a smaller version of the gladius. They are fragile as well but when they hit the flank of your opponent they can deal serious damage to a squad of smalls or mediums.

 

Scutum: They have a decent amount of firepower compared to other corvettes. The low AP combined with terror tactics makes this one of the harder to use corvettes. The usage of calcification generators gives your opponent some additional ways to avoid serious boarding trouble. The main strenght is the high survivability though, which makes them a good unit to deal with enemy corvettes and gives the option of some offensive counterboarding.

 

Stiletto: The output of their foreguns is a bit lackluster. I either play them really offensive and try to draw fire from my other fragile units or cover my fleet against enemy TFT´s.

 

Overall:

 

I think LoIS is a great allied nation with a nice unit diversity. Almost all naval units can be played, even in a competitive environment with the Mars as the only exception. The bigger problem is the aerial fleet though. In my opinion the mediums (especially the hasta) as well as the interceptor (to a slighter extent) could use some revision.

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The Fortuna I think is a bit better than your giving. As low level flyer you can hide it among your fleet or behind islands very easily. Haven't tried it yet, as I only discovered this fact yesterday. But I'm excited to try them.

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As a long time LoIS player (my main faction since 1.1) i will give a short feedback on the different units from my point of view.

 

 

 

 

i agree with Mars, Affondatore is much better, and i always pick Ballistae instead of Mars.

Minerva indead need little nerf.

But i think Pillums are great, with 5 AP and calfication generator, you can board anything with them. And, if obscured, they can handle few shots.  I play them very often and i cant have complain about them.

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The Fortuna I think is a bit better than your giving. As low level flyer you can hide it among your fleet or behind islands very easily. Haven't tried it yet, as I only discovered this fact yesterday. But I'm excited to try them.

 

Fortuna is good with, again, calcification generator, they has very good amount of torp, and without CC, it can hurt very much. I sunk with squadron of Fortune two british vanguards in one shot.

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having Low Level Flyer means the Fortuna can not just hide among ships/terrain, it also means they can make themselves effectively immune to fighterplanes (which are normally the main threat to light/medium aircraft)

 

But, they can be hit by guns in RB1 without high angle

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But, they can be hit by guns in RB1 without high angle

which is why you keep it down low on the way to the target, and only pull up to Flying height when you're close enough to launch the torpedoes. you can then use your Swift Manouvre to either drop back down to ground level or go up to Obscured, depending on what enemies are nearby

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having Low Level Flyer means the Fortuna can not just hide among ships/terrain, it also means they can make themselves effectively immune to fighterplanes (which are normally the main threat to light/medium aircraft)

 

Thanks Nazduruk, this is actually very helpful. I knew they are low level flyers, but i did not realize this means they can ignore TFT´s. Maybe my opinion on the fortunas is actually worse than they really are. I think i have to play them a few more times to see if they perform better now. I´ve added this to my former comment. 

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 They become a Surface Skimmer for rules purposes when flying low, so Fighters( and others)  can't AA them. It does mean they can be dive bombed or torpedeod though, so they are not immune to SAS.

 

James

I think my comment was a bit misleading, i actually meant immune to tiny flyer AA.

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Even in the case of Minerva, I think a nerf may be jumping the proverbial gun a bit. It is an excellent vessel without doubt, and I susepect may get a nerf bat tap....no more than a tap I hope. Why might one ask?

 

Well, it often has to face such adversaries as the Lord Hood, for example. While Minerva's main turret is in fact stronger, it has only two to Hood's three. (And secondary turrets help, but also this means 4 turrets each losing strength with each hit....) The shield is one better, and it has the dreaded calcification gen. All excellent points!

 

However Hood has the combination of Devastating AND Redoubtable primary turrets. In addition, it has more HP, is better in AP, AA, CC, and IR. Plus, is 5 points cheaper.

 

Seems to me not such an uneven match. So while I would in the past have likely agreed that the Minerva might be slightly too points efficient, after other recent ORBAT updates, I see this as less of a concern.

 

I also agree 100% with those who have noted that having some non-standard turret strength variations has been important to balance for the Italians. I understand the drive to homogenize the AD on turrets a bit nation by nation.....but I believe it should not come at the expense of balance or your will create more problems than you resolve. With a larger ORBAT one can make up for this with a wider variety of designs perhaps, but with the very tight Italian model selection, slight AD adjustments are a welcome solution to achieving a better balanced game that is fun to play.

 

Similarly, little bits like the optional additional Uccisore attack craft on a Gladius squadron are actually very valuable assets to the ORBAT in terms of fleet building. When you have fewer models to choose from, having more than one point spread for some models is really excellent for list building. I have always appreciated that concept.

 

Rather than nerf Minerva just as other nations BC's have caught up, I would suggest a buff to the Mars battleship. This would have the effect of balancing point values vs. actual capability with both the Minerva and Affondatore nicely, and making the decision fo where to invest for each vessel q fun and difficult decision each game.

 

One oddity I do get concerned about with Minerva is the potential beardiness of Russian commanders just adding in a Minerva and a few Scutum, just to break the game with Russian ships with shield 3 copied all over the place.

 

I don't think Gladii...Gladiuses?....no, hmmm Gladii....anyway, I don't think they need much of a buff either. (Maybe removal of capital designation would be my only idea?) The thing I love about the Italians is they feel both strong and in danger of being crushed, at any moment. The Gladius exemplifies this.

 

I do think the Hasta needs some help. However I recognize that it was the first of the new breed of heavy bombers, and I suspect the concept evolved as the core nations got theirs....so Hasta is I suspect likely to see some assistance.

 

I also understand why folks complain a it about the Fortuna. (If you played it's elder brother 1.1 version especially!) Again, I am not sure it really needs a buff though. If I recall correctly, it ran something like 60 points per model back when it had range band 4 torpedoes and a shield. Maybe 2.0 Fortuna is deserving of 4 HP....I dunno. but it does not need much, and if it did get a major buff, the cost would need to go back up accordingly or it would become too good for the cost.

 

The other thing that would be lovely is to see an eventual additional box, with maybe a "pocket dreadnought", destroyer, and possibly a new heavy cruiser, something that only perhaps only operates in packs of two, and carries a pair of Gladius fore style turrets, (for and aft), with no Uccisore option, and adds HP 5, and possibly DR-5/CR-6...but still only shield-2. Give it hit and run and make it a 90 point model. (Or if you add this go ahead and nerf Gladius slightly, and insert an 80-85 point new heavy cruiser.)

 

I think the Italian tactical and design aesthetic make the Pocket Dreadnought concept an ideal fit. (Or heavy BB, whatever!) It might not quite be capable of "hit and run", even if it had been hoped to achieve such maneuverability in terms of fluff.....but it could maintain a bit more move speed, say MV-8, and lower than usual dread toughness. (DR-7 CR-11, HP-9, shield 3.) Weapon load could be three Mars quality main turrets with only two raised, which would be grand undamaged, but again very quickly brought down by damage. (Two fore main turrets, and one aft, with one for and aft raised turret.) Also still a bit light with maybe 8AP, 7AA, 5CC, and IR-5 or 6.) Add a torp turret, broadsides, and call it 250 or so points?

 

Just thinking out loud there. I would buy such an expansion box immediately.

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Just throwing this out there. I don't think the Minerva is the broken part, more the node projector. The Minerva probably needs a slight adjustment but nothing major. My issue is more to do with how powerful projectors are. Large blast templates compared to one ship only on a normal generator is a bit too much. I'm fine with the projector up to rbX but either change it to one ship or a smaller template.

With regard to the orbat as a whole it's one of the ones that work really well. Yes, odd tweaks but no major overhaul is required.

Hasta needs a boost, Minerva a slight tap but the rest are fine the way they are

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So the New Zealand nationals are coming up this Easter weekend and my wannabe glorious Italians are planning to attend. Being a rather poor player I am planning on simply having a bit of fun with the fleet and not really being overly competitive . Rest assured that the 90% loss rate I have with the Italians is purely down to me and not the orbat.

The intended list is as follows.

Affondatorre, Mars, Minerva, 2 Gladius with attached Torpedo Boats, 4 Cinquedea, 5 Scutum, 1 Mk1 & 1 Mk2 Pilum, Haasta.

Advance deployment for the Haasta and Flanking for the Gladius.

Thoughts anyone?

Anything that might help, tweaks or sneaky tricks.

Again I am not planning on going hard, but 1 win would be nice.

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Definitely change Hasta for another Gladius

I like italian skyfortress, so i would go rather with that instead of Mars, full squadron of Pillums is good too.

 

So my opinion, change Hasta and Mars for gladius, pillum and Sky fortress. Its about only 15 pts more i think.

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Definitely change Hasta for another Gladius

I like italian skyfortress, so i would go rather with that instead of Mars, full squadron of Pillums is good too.

 

So my opinion, change Hasta and Mars for gladius, pillum and Sky fortress. Its about only 15 pts more i think.

 

 

Basic strategy with this is use your two node projector with Calc. gen. ASAP and then board the biggest enemy ships with pillums and scutums (terror tactics is just awesome without enemy AA, 10 dice!), Torpedo boats will do some damage too without enemy CC, so use it against smaller ships.

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