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ElectricPaladin

First Game with Tarakians

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1k, Gather Resources, Tarakians + Terquai vs. Sorylians

 

My List

  • Ganak-Class Battleship w/+3 Wings, Self Repair, 6 Interceptors
  • 4 Sulan-Class Cruisers w/High Energy Torpedoes
  • 3 Arual-Class Assault Cruisers
  • 5 Tarl-Class Frigates
  • 5 Tarl-Class Frigates
  • TACs: Focused Repairs, Power to Shields, Regroup

Bastanado's List

  • Sorylian Dreadnought
  • 4 Sorylian Heavy Cruisers
  • 5 Sorylian Frigates
  • 5 Sorylian Frigates

 

Early Game

 

Thanks to the reach and power of my gravity weapons, I started off strong, dinging Bastanado's dreadnought and popping a few frigates. However, the early game really belonged to the Sorylians. Thanks to a couple of lucky search rolls in debris fields and all but wiping out one of my two Tarl squadrons, Bastanado started off with a strong Battle Log lead. Of course, at this point, my Aruals were still lurking in foldspace.

 

Midgame

 

The tide began to turn when my cruisers were able to bring their gravity weapons to bare on Bastanado's dreadnought for the second round in a row, basically smashing it all to heck, though not quite destroying it. My Aruals arrived in the late part of the midgame, and were quite effective at both continuing to push the dreadnought towards that final darkness and generally smashing things up. A trio of un-upgraded Aruals were actually able to beat a Sorylian dreadnought on the Temperature Control TAC turn, which was awesome! Bastanado continued to pour fire into my Ganak, and by the end of this phase it was just barely hanging in there with two HPs left.

 

Endgame

 

Bastanado continued to whittle away at my forces, killing one Arual... and as it turned out, that's it. He also began desperately trying to kill off my Ganak, which he saw quite rightly as the only way to close the enormous Battle Log gap that had grown between us (it was 15 to 5 at this point, where it stayed until the end of the game). However, between its three shields, native durability, some very lucky Self Repair MAR rolls, and the fact that I had moved it to lurking within the central debris field, he couldn't do more than scratch it.

 

My Aruals, Sulans, and Tarls continued to mop up, finally tabling Bastanado at the end of Turn 6. Final Score: 15 to 5 in my favor.

 

Take Home Lessons

  • Tarakians are incredibly durable. Between their high HP scores, more than decent DRs and CRs, and shields on everything, they can be very hard to remove. This combines well with...
  • Because they exclusively rely on indirect weapons, Tarakian ships continue to be effective until they are removed. It was a lot of fun to watch the damage build up and realize that except for counting down towards the ship's removal, I really didn't care.
  • The real star of the show was my Sulans. Holy cow, can those guys put out a punishing amount of firepower.
  • I picked the wrong TACs. The correct TACs for a Tarakian fleet are: Engines to Full, Focused Repairs, and Power to Shields. The extra movement and maneuverability combines very well with gravity guns. At least once during the game I could have pushed some enemy ships into a planet if I had been able to get there faster and more efficiently. I never had the chance to use Regroup.

And now on to the negatives...

  • I was really underwhelmed by the Ganak. I guess it's all well and good to have an incredibly durable platform for my admiral, but I think the ship is pretty seriously undergunned. Except for dinging the odd target of opportunity, it didn't really do anything except not die. If Bastanado had ignored it and instead focused on killing my Sulans, I would have been in trouble. I actually think it's kind of underpowered as it is, because it's not that much more durable than a Terran battleship, but much less powerful. Perhaps next time I'll put six wings of bombers on it and let it act as a kind of wimpy carrier?
  • Gravity guns really are a "gotcha" weapon, and that's not fun for the opponent. I mean, they're devastatingly powerful in terms of offensive output, but using them in the fun way - shoving things around - is always going to feel like a nasty trick. That won't stop me from doing it, though. I think I'll get in the habit of reminding my opponents how they work before the game starts. At one point in this game I could have one-shotted Bastanado's dreadnought by pushing it into a planetoid, but when he told me that he hadn't known that I could do that, I decided to just crit it instead.
  • Relying on torpedoes makes the ships durable, but it also means that you need a lot of luck to be successful. You need to make sure you've softened your opponent up with gravity guns, or your torpedoes won't stand a chance.

 

All in all, I'm happy that I invested in that Ganak (underwhelmed as I was...) and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to buy more Tarakian models. The recent reveal that Hawker is getting a carrier has given me some hope that the Tarakian fleet list will be expanded in the upcoming fleet manuals, which is going to be essential if the Tarakians are ever going to stand on their own. As it is now, the fleet only has two things going for it - durability, gravity guns - and list building is very challengin because of the lack of options.

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Thanks for the thorough report.  I have always been interested in the ships you used and especially the gravity weapons.  They seem like they would fun to use but also over powered when you can destroy a big ship in one turn with them.  You will have to post more about them with future games.

 

How easy is it to knock a ship out with the gravity weapons?  Do you find that a good opponent can out maneuver them?

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Here are my further observations about gravity weapons:

  • The fore fixed orientation means that I needed to get my licks in with them early. Once the game had reached the stage where our ships were tightly maneuvering around each other, it did become hard to line up shots. So, if you're looking for a way to mitigate the effect of Tarakian gravity guns, get in under their guard. That said...
    • As a corollary, remember that Tarakian torpedoes have equal AD in all range bands, which means that once I had degraded my opponent's PD with damage, my shooting wasn't any less effective because we were packed together. In this game, my Sorylian opponent had similar advantages, but I can see this being a crushing advantage against, say, Directorate or Dindrenzi opponents.
  • It's important not to underestimate the power of gravity weapons. Four Sulans working together can get a total of 15 AD. Given that my opponent's shields and PD were both useless, I was able to crit his dreadnought reliably. When I turned around to shoot at, say, his heavy cruisers, I was able to split the squadron's fire and shoot at two different ships, 9 AD each, and still reliably damage or even crit them. Gravity guns are an incredibly powerful weapon, even when used conventionally. So while it might not be easy to line up a shot against a canny opponent and knock a ship into a planet or off the board, it's not hard at all to just beat the **** out of them with this potent weapon!
  • Like I said, one-shotting an important ship by pushing it into a planet is situational at best. It's a gotcha weapon. In the best of worlds, where most opponents know how gravity guns work - or Tarakian players have the sportmsanship and foresight to remind them! -  they are never going to open themselves to that kind of attack. Therefore, in real life, it's more of a deterrent. Gravity guns aren't going to be valuable because you are going to reliably push your opponent into a planet - they're reliable because it means that your opponent is going to have to chose between possibly losing his ship and having to maneuver a little more carefully, wasting inches, not being exactly where he knows he should be. And then, every once in a while, you're going to have an opponent who takes that risk because it's important enough to him... and then you punish him if you can.
    • This is why I recommend the Engines to Full TAC. It's one of the few "fair" ways to pull of the gravity gun execution, because it doesn't rely on your opponent forgetting what they do.
    • It's also important to remember that one-shotting a valuable ship is really the simplest way to use gravity guns on control mode. This game often relies on ship position for scoring, and it isn't hard to use gravity guns to mess with that. I never had the chance because of how ship positioning ended up working out, but I have played games where the ability to push one of my ships closer to an objective or push an opponent's ship away from an objective would have been extremely worthwhile

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Can I ask a question? Maybe you and Kittens could test this out. But since the Tarakians are full-on indirect weapons, it would seem that Relthozans' cloaking would be... useless. While the archetypal(arachetypal?) Bane-Aranae-Carriers fleet would probably laugh at the fore fixed Grav weapons, any other Relthozan layout seems like it could potentially be in for a gravity-based beating, considering their only defense would be Stealth Systems. What would you suggest that an all-comers list do when faced with grav shenanigans? 

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i did find it very interesting when i tried out tarakians, with proxies for a few games, that the only guns in the entire fleet that care about the ship being damaged are the battleship's broadsides..

 

as to the push/pull their big ship into a planet, the quickest way to have a regular opponent remember that it is something you can do is to mention it at the start of the game as you said, but also to actually do it when they leave themselves open to it. (having had other units in other game systems with unique situationally devastating abilities, i can say that my friends would simply forget despite my reminding them before each game. but once i started to actually use said abilities rather then being nice because they forgot, they remembered them very quickly lol)

 

i guess i am lucky in that if i have reminded them at the start of the game, then they forget and do something which results in catastrophe (due to unique abilities) 90% of my gaming group would be laughing about it and remember to not do it next time :D (the reverse is also true when i derp and pay for it)

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EP

Your observations match mine. I've played lots of games with a similar fleet, except that I have 2 Terquai torp cruisers and only 6 Tarls.

The grav weapons are especially brutal against fleets that rely on Shields or, as Hive mentioned, Cloaks. In games against Terrans and Relthoza both fleets really suffered at the hands of the Grav weapons.

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i would definately buy the 6 wings on the BB  and used in combination with the hawker BB cyberwarfare to knock out pd for torp salvos can increase the whole tarakian fleeet effectiveness

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For me going with the 6 SRS is a hard choice since it means sacrificing a Hard Point and dedicating an extra 30 points to buying the SRSs. The Tarakians are already such an attrition focused fleet, it doesn't feel right to give up the +1 CR and Self-Repair.

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i would definately buy the 6 wings on the BB  and used in combination with the hawker BB cyberwarfare to knock out pd for torp salvos can increase the whole tarakian fleeet effectiveness

 

 

For me going with the 6 SRS is a hard choice since it means sacrificing a Hard Point and dedicating an extra 30 points to buying the SRSs. The Tarakians are already such an attrition focused fleet, it doesn't feel right to give up the +1 CR and Self-Repair.

 

I don't think that the extra CR is really worth it. The only time my Ganak was critted involved a ridiculous number of hits. +1 CR wouldn't have saved me. Had I been facing a torpedo or SRS-heavy fleet, that 6-wing interceptor token would have made me into a tower fortress of screw you... but that didn't happen in this game.

 

That said, what I'm actually considering for my next game is a big token of assaulters. Think about it... the Ganak can easily survive to close with the enemy, and then the assaulters can charge across and turn off the enemy's PD to open them up to a torpedo salvo from the Sulans.

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The grav weapons are especially brutal against fleets that rely on Shields or, as Hive mentioned, Cloaks. In games against Terrans and Relthoza both fleets really suffered at the hands of the Grav weapons.

 

You are right, but in game aganist Tarakian, there in no sense in activate Cloak, and by this Rethloza can help themselves using self-repair (especially in self repair list). And less dice of Grav weapon means less critical.

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