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New Squat List: Thurgrimm Stronghold 1.0

 Post subject: Re: New Squat List: Thurgrimm Stronghold 1.0
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:59 pm 
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Moscovian wrote:
For anyone who missed my notes on the list...

This list was the result of ten Squat players who showed above average interest in the list. I wanted it hammered out off the forums so we had something playtested as opposed to theory-hammer vs. theory hammer. As you may have guessed, 10 people didn't agree on anything. Not one thing. However, it was played and discussed a lot.

There are a good number of points I am not going to comment on yet because I don't want to shut people's voices down. However, when it comes to unit stats, we did our best to make them WYSIWYG. So things like the Iron Eagles are WYSIWYG. The battlecannon is what the unit is armed with. The speed is supposed to be very quick (like a Valkyrie). Those things are not going to change. The size of the formation helps mitigate their abilities and the price is flexible.

Same thing goes for Thunderers. Most of the core playtesters wanted the Thunderer stats as you see them now. They are as close to WYSIWYG as I felt comfortable. They are what they are and that isn't going to change.

Everything else is on the table. Continue discussion.


Good luck with your list then. (edit)


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 Post subject: Re: New Squat List: Thurgrimm Stronghold 1.0
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:09 pm 
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Stompzilla, who were you playing the list against? Curis? How many games did you play with the current iteration? What were the results? Ultimately I'd like to discuss these concerns, but without details from you it is going to be difficult at best.

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 Post subject: Re: New Squat List: Thurgrimm Stronghold 1.0
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:46 pm 
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elsmore wrote:
No exo armour formations?


Good question.

Starting off, this first list is designed as an oldskool list. Ork and Squat Warlords didn't allow you to field exo-armour formations. Warhammer 40,000 didn't let you field Exo-armour Squads in either the White Dwarf Rogue Trader list, or 2nd edition's Black Codex Squat list.

Secondly, there was only one Exo-Armour model per sprue. With a smallish formation of six stands you'd need to get a thirty of sprues before you could field the formation. Considering the other things that came one-per-sprue were Trikes and Mole Mortars (which are one to a base) you'd be collecting Exo-Armour stands five times slower than everything else. (Or three if you felt like spreading them thin.)

However, a formation of insanely-armoured combat troops is something new and exciting. They're worth considering, but in future specialised variant lists where you can justify large number of Exo suits with the fluff. Perhaps a particularly ancient and wealthy Stronghold would have access to that many suits?


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 Post subject: Re: New Squat List: Thurgrimm Stronghold 1.0
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:51 pm 
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I have played against the list a few of times and seen the list fight few times as well.

I agree with all of what Stompzilla says.

Mainly that that mv 10 is a lot slower than it seems on paper and causes many more problems than its worth. You will always rally on a -1 due to always being within 30cm. Also just because they are a little shorter in the leg doesn't make them slower in the scheme of things, epic turn is not clear how long it is, there is a whole thread to argue it. Just because they are slightly shorter shouldnt make them a 3rd slower, when it causes more problems than it saves.

If you are keen on stubborn change it to ignore the -1 to rally within 30cm of enemies.
For the other special rules I like mine portals, they are good and allow forward units that will help slow nature of squats in general. Although to streamline it, it is unnesscary to say how many units you can hide in each portal, the Eldar rules doesn't, I understand why but it just makes it longer and could be read wrong.

Infiltrating Berserkers are quick ridiculously quick, faster than any other elite combat units in the game, apart from Zombies come to think of it. (Seperate issue but just remembered it)

About Tunnellers, keeping to the Epic rulebook works fine except for a few things. There is an advantage that Planetfall units do not have which is that you have to declare the turn of when spaceships arrive, thus particular defences can be thought out. For Tunnellers this is not the case, yes it is clear they can come up turn 2 or 3 in their half and enemy's half respectively but they do not have to declare what formation will turn up what turn. They must note it down etc. but they do not have to declare which is a huge advantage over planetfall. All I am saying for a change is that the turn must be declared just for balance.

Also Tunneller vehicles, you spend a lot of money to get the hellbore and the other tunnellers but all they do is turn up to die. I would be disheartened by this. Plus it goes against the background where they have been seen grinding through infantry with their melta drills. It is also very clear on the models that they have tracks, and it is unheard of just to leave them behind for the enemy. They have an allegiance with AM and I would like to see that conversation with the techpriests. If they have a move of 15cm each they can keep up with the INF and actually do something. On a similar not the Hellbore critical seems a little silly to just break. Other warmachines of similar size at least take another point of damage. The breaking seems a little pointless as it is DC3 which is easy enough to break without any voids etc.

The coloussus, cyclops at DC 5 plus voids seems a bit steep. Both are made from the Levithan chasis and I don't get why they should have another DC its cosiderably hard to make it that much tougher, it is like adding another Leman russ onto its superstructure, which is no mean task, but a cyclops is a massive gun, where is the armour, and the Colussus has more weaponry. Oh yeah and CC and FF 3+ is ridiculous for such a cheap vehicle that could give a reaver a good battering. More weapons and essentially better than it.

To top it off the Colussus has the option of a 50pt upgrade for a Living Ancestor, which gives it everything, 3 saves, inspiring, a +1 retain, and extra ff MW, when it already has a woping 7. I tried to engage it with Demon Prince in TS Terminators even with demons they would have no hope and they are 50 pts cheaper.

Also on the other characters, they all have RA and an INV save. Which I believe is far too much, they might be in exo-armour but that was only equal to terminators but these guys could take a TK weapon and live.

Warriors should have a heavy bolter each, they are meant to carry more weapons than IG but in this they are less powerful and less shots. They should have a shot for each stand in a similar way to Seigemasters, especially as they are only AP weapons.

The overlord has a lot of weapons for 200 pts. Compared to a Baneblade which is 200 pts it has almost twice as much weapons, I understand it can die in a single critical, but it is just as tough.

In a similar way the Iron Eagles are flying Leman Russ's they don't have RA but are so fast it doesn't matter at all. They have equal amount of weapons to them and range is huge for a skimmer.

I am unsure of the need for an Automaton rule, it provides cheap formations that are extremely hard to break that can have 10 lascannons garrisoned on overwatch. If I am right they have the Squat rule which means when they stay still which they will most likely will they will lose the BM for being shot at.

Also Hearthguard are Leader, Inspiring, and Infiltrator for free in warrior formations, might be a bit much.

For Thunderfire cannons I understand they are fragile, but they have 2 Twinbattle cannons for 100 points and 2 AA4+ shots for the formation. They are as good as hunters if not better, and generally very easy to protect with a Colossus plus they due to Stubborn they will alwys have no blast markers at the end of a turn as they can't move..

I know that is a lot but that is what I have seen so far. Generally it is good, but some stuff have a lot of things, others should have a few others.

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Last edited by Abyssal Terror on Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Squat List: Thurgrimm Stronghold 1.0
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:17 pm 
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Hello!

Another of Curis' opponents...

Not wanting to sound like "me too", but I'll chime in with my thoughts.

I'm glad someone has picked the list up, it was great seeing Squats on the table they were one of the iconic 2nd Ed races and have been sorely missed in the 3-4 years I've been playing.


I've played 3 games (I think, maybe one more...) with my Necrons against them - no doubt more in the coming weeks.
Overall I liked the feel of the Squat list, but I think there are still a few things that need addressing, I'm trying to be constructive.... I'm quite glad to see the back of the 8 Trike formation ;)

The 10cm move is very restrictive - it's too easy to surround kill them after winning an assault, as has been noted earlier, just leave it at 15cm, perhaps giving them breaks for certain actions, or a penalty for marching or some such to represent their slowness. As has been pointed out elsewhere this removes the need to start giving formations which really shouldn't have it infiltrate.

I also don't think the Brotherhood formation 'feels' like Squats, to me they occupied a mid-ground between space marines and Guard back in the day, and having rolled over a large Brotherhood repeatedly they just don't give that impression.

Also the ancestor lord is a bit on the good side, he does add flavour to the list, but maybe up his points slightly.

Also, I think Curis' testing with mobile Tunneling units really added a unique side to the list, rather than being another slow low-quality infantry army with decent W/E support They were now turning up and driving around (slowly) in their Termites - made it very significantly different from playing against Guard (which was my default option). I hope this does make it in!


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 Post subject: Re: New Squat List: Thurgrimm Stronghold 1.0
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:37 pm 
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VOLATILE COMMENTS EDITED

Moscovian wrote:
Stompzilla, who were you playing the list against? Curis? How many games did you play with the current iteration? What were the results? Ultimately I'd like to discuss these concerns, but without details from you it is going to be difficult at best.


Hi Mosc. I know I can seem a bit belligerant (because i am, lol) and again, it's nothing personal I'm just commenting on the task at hand.

I've been informed that Chris has been in regular E-mail with you about his experiences (So no real need to repeat it all here) and I've played the current iteration of the list in mock tournament, hardcore, style games now going on for 4 or 5 times over the last 2 months or so. In addition at the end of most evenings we sit down as a club and discuss playtest issues, sharing each other's issues and things that have come up in the various games and we've all played the squats in recent months. (We've also been playtesting Epic-UK necrons most club nights)

I've been playing against Squats in one iteration or another for a couple of years now in total.

We've had some hard fought draws but for the most part the squats have lost. It has been apparent in playtesting that some units are utterly pants (Warriors) and some vastly over perform like the Collossus with Ancestor lord and the big trike fms (Which you've now corrected) to name just 2 examples.

The main limiting factor for the squats that has seen them be defeated has been the movement or lack thereof and the total lack of warrior firepower. Chris has been quite restrained in his army selection so far though, taking and testing a variety of units. However there are clearly some units that are easily identifiable as being extremely good. If he was to take advantage of these then the result would be a broken mess of a list that was not a great deal of fun to play against or even with.

However I can't fathom the decision to make everything WYSIWYG with regards no of missiles, weapons etc on out of production models to decide its stats (terminators spring immediately to mind - how many assault cannons do the come with?). Surely the most important thing about list design is to achieve balance and ultimately a fair tournament list that can be widely used and enjoyed in a game of Epic A. (edit)

(edit)
(edit)
(edit)

I do like the Mineheads and agree with your decision to make them 0-1. I do also like the wisdom of the ancients special rule. Squats also really need some mobile AA and IMO the blimp thingy is the best place for it. It's also quite characterful. The doomsday cannon style artillery pieces are IMO very good too and needed toning down from the French list.


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 Post subject: Re: New Squat List: Thurgrimm Stronghold 1.0
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:35 pm 
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I'm all for changing the stubborn rule, but definitely not dropping it! For me it's the most important special rule, it's a defining factor of the race. Squats had a very high brake point back in the old game and that is something I think we should try to represent. My favorite so far is Curis suggestion of "no -1 to rally when close to enemy".

Concerning spotter why did you limit it to only the dooms day cannon Moscovian? I think that's making the rule rather useless for the train and collosus that have other BP weapons. You're likely not going to use the ability then because you proably want to use all BP weapons at the same time, but to use the ability now you have to forgo these attacks (if you don't allow split fire, which I'm not advocating btw).

I agree on the criticism that the ancient dude gives some wonky abilities to the Super heavies, like the triple save. I played netEA tyranids recently and that triple save felt really odd and OTT on a WE. I do think however that inspiring is very much fitting for someone who's almost considered "holy", the guys around him would be inspired greatly to fight to protect him for the shame of letting a holy man die on their watch. I would make the character limited to only warrior brotherhoods. I really like the actual rule as I think it represent in a nice way the abilities the guy used to have in space marine.

I agree, like I've said earlier, with others that there's no reason to give the Superheavies CC3+ 4+ seems a lot better. They don't have any CC weapons.

In a general note I like for the list to be as true as possible to the SM/TL rules/unit descriptions. There is no current fluff for them so Warlords and the likes is what we have to go on. For instance I really like the stats for thunderers. They used to have more attacks than devastators so definitely 3 attacks. 3 autocannon or missile launcher shots seems quite boring to me.

cheers


Last edited by Borka on Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Squat List: Thurgrimm Stronghold 1.0
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:37 pm 
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Borka, you're more generous than I would be. With no dedicated CC weaps, I have a hard time justifying better tha CC5+ on a WE.

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 Post subject: Re: New Squat List: Thurgrimm Stronghold 1.0
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:56 am 
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I have both Warlords and the 3rd ed. list, so fluff wise a number of the WYSIWYG/background-related options are spot on, and should not/will not be changed. Now, I've gotta say myself after my last game that the 10cm move was brutal, and I hate to say it, but seems as though it does underpower/handicap the list. The weapons and numbers in formations, though, should definitely stay as they are. Things like the Iron Eagle (fair enough on the naming convention, BTW) are what they are: VTOL with Battlecannons on the nose. Period. You can't change a unit that, well, is that unit! Two of the most bizarre things about the original Thurgrimm list was the 8-stand unit, and the 2xAutocannons. These, as some of you already know, I'm more then happy are gone.

I actually like Curis' idea about Stubborn. Something to consider. Still not a huge fan of the "Mine Head/Portal," but, as I hope you guys know by now, I'm very much a compromiser, as long as it doesn't 'compromise' the integrity on the fluff too much, as it were. Only thought... maybe call it a "Breach" instead of "Mine Portal." Semantics, I know, but I'm a big one for names :D

Oh, and finally: get Living Ancestors out of WE. I think we should try pushing them out into a Brotherhood to buff (where they belong, quite frankly), and away from shenanigans with WEs. My 2p, as always.

Oh, and Mosc... as always, keep up the good work! I'll play test and report back soon with the 1.0 list.


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 Post subject: Re: New Squat List: Thurgrimm Stronghold 1.0
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:04 am 
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The 10cm infantry movement is unworkable.

I've had games against four different quality opponents using multiple armies (multiple flavours of Marines, multiple flavours of Eldar, Chaos and Necron, games planned against the group's other flavours of Chaos and Marine, Guard, Orks, Tau and Nid armies).

While you might want to represent the Squats' perceived lower movement (which in Ork and Squat Warlords was actually identical to Marines, Guard and practically everything else) in the list, the basic infantry movement stat is not the place for it.

Here are the issues revealed in playtesting:

1. Unable to engage Scouts in base contact when engaging

2. Difficult to end a withdrawal 20cm from an engagment. Canny opponents will just need to engage with a units spread across the formations' frontage and laugh as the Squats are hacked down fleeing

3. General manoeuvring to capture objectives, get into the opponent's table half becomes a real challenge. Not a "I enjoy this challenge as it's characterful playing style" but an "argh, I've been challenged to eat endless bowls of beard shavings" challenge

This is exacerbated by a 30cm gun which turns what should be a bastion of Dwarven firepower into a ponderous and milquetoast formation. Short range and poor movement combine to neuter the core power of the Squat list. And it's not mitigated by the disposable Tunnellers that strand formations at pre-plotted co-ordinates. (Disposable Tunnellers are a point for a separate post.)

15cm is slow enough for Infantry. Marines Drop Podding / Dreadclawing in suffer from chronically poor mobility once they're on the ground. Teleporting Terminators struggle with tactical manoeuvre after they've destroyed their initial target - and that's with a 15cm. It's the established stat for infantry. The Squats' playstyle with low movement is already represented by their comparative lack of zippy assault formations...

- No Jump Infantry

- No Infantry in a flying War Engine.

- Complete lack of Fliers

- Nothing with Teleport

The ironic thing is, that the list already acknowledges that a 10cm movement is inadequate. And rather than up the movement to a workable 15cm, it's got the really ugly Infiltrator workaround.

Image

Y'see, it's ironic that in trying to represent Squat's lower movement, they're suddenly outpacing other properly dedicated assault units. If Moscovian was truly convinced 10cm is adequate then he'd not have given anything Infiltrate. Especially not one of the army list's Core Formation.

And so upping the movement to 15cm still preserves the intended Squat flavour and playstyle. It's also in-line with the general design ethos of 15cm INF. And it matches up with Ork and Squat Warlords.


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 Post subject: Re: New Squat List: Thurgrimm Stronghold 1.0
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:17 pm 
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Warrior Heavy Weapons

Looking through the published lists, the backbone formation comprises stands with AP/AT shots.

Tactical Marines - AP5+/AP6+
Imperial Guard - 1/2 AP5+/AP6+
Ork Boyz - AP6+/AP6+
Chaos Marines - AP5+/AP6+
Guardian Heavy Weapons Platform - AP5+/AT5+

Half a Heavy Bolter puts Squat Warriors them on-par with Siegemasters Siege Infantry (who ARE designed to be woefully under-equipped) or Tau (who don't carry Heavy Weapons).

So, is the list intentionally designed to be a low firepower list? Hmm?


"But I think you'll find the models..."

So if you state your reasons are pednatic model-rep then you'll go insane if you consider...

Ork Big Shoota - actually a Plasma Cannon
Chaos Space Marine Missile Launcher - actually a Heavy Bolter
Space Marine Terminator Assault Cannon - actually a Storm Bolter
Space Marine Scout Heavy Bolter - actually a Bolt Pistol

The "Missile Launcher" or "Autocannon" is not always literally a Missile Launcher or Heavy Bolter, but a generic set of stats to represent a mix of heavy weapons. It represents the unit's ability to fire AP and AT shots.

If you still don't understand the abstraction the stats represent, then you can just arm your Warrior stands with the Missile Launcher models. Problem solved.


Half a Heavy Weapon?!

Where has this come from? It's not previous editions - Ork and Squat Warlords explicitly stated one in every five models should have a Missile Launcher. It's not sprue representation - there's enough Heavy Bolters to give every Warrior stand a Heavy Bolter.

The Squat Warriors need upgunning to a Missile Launcher/Autocannon per stand.


How that affects the game

That turns the Warrior formation into a decent choice, rather than a waddly little bunker to put the Grand Warlord in.

Because in my games, these chaps are an awful short-ranged firebase. They pump out one more shot than a 4-strong formation of Marine Scouts. They're difficult to position with their 10cm movement and poor range. And when you finally do get them there, their firepower is dismal. What's the point?

Give them a Missile Launcher each and WHAM! they'll become a toothy formation opponents will have to actually bother with.

Of course, this would mean a points bump and/or a size reduction .


Thunderers

I'm not a fan of the Thunderer stats. I wouldn't claim "Most of the core playtesters wanted the Thunderer stats as you see them now" - it'd be more accurate to say: "Most of the playtesters didn't pass comment, as very few played".

I'd suggest trialling these with 2 Missile Launchers / Autcannons, with an eye on increasing it further to 3.


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 Post subject: Re: New Squat List: Thurgrimm Stronghold 1.0
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:50 pm 
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With reference to Warriors, O&SWs explicitly stated "with one Squat in every five-man squad carrying a heavy weapon such as a missile missile or heavy bolter". It is a sprue representation though because you can't give every Warrior stand a heavy and still be able to make a Thunderer with the same sprue.

On the model-rep side, I've converted those Scout Bolt Pistols into Heavy Bolters or Sniper Rifles, and Stormbolters into Assault Cannons. I'm also planning on converting Havocs with Autocannons. I'm not saying this to look like a big deal (Arlo Guthrie: "I'm not proud"), I'm saying it because if the model isn't there people will make it. However, in this case the models are there so I'd rather not stat the stands differently. There are other ways to give Warrior formations teeth (reduce the size and allow Thunderer/arty upgrades) then by going with stats that you can't make with the models on a standard sprue: 1 HB for every two stands of Warriors; and 1ML and 2THB for Thunderers work for me.

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 Post subject: Re: New Squat List: Thurgrimm Stronghold 1.0
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:09 pm 
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This is like arguing about the colour ratio of Fruit Pastilles. But anyway...

Dave wrote:
It is a sprue representation though because you can't give every Warrior stand a heavy and still be able to make a Thunderer with the same sprue.


This sprue?

Image

Rules say you mounted one heavy per Warrior stand.

The 'Eavy Metal army had a heavy weapon on every stand of Warriors.

You needed those extra warriors per sprue needed to crew the Thudd Gun and Mole Mortar.

And anyway, there were ten sprues a box, so leftovers just made extra bases.


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 Post subject: Re: New Squat List: Thurgrimm Stronghold 1.0
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:59 pm 
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The rules may say it but there's a whole page of pictures on page 41 that has Warriors with no heavy weapons on them. I'm not saying the way you chose to base things is wrong, you could glue the models together into balls with 40k bits and still be "right". But saying that it's "not sprue representation" isn't a valid argument.

There's nine Warriors, one Thunderer with Missile Launcher and five Thunderers with Heavy Bolters on that sprue. That allows you to make two Warrior stands, one of which has a Thunderer on it. And one Thunderer stand with five Thunderers on it with no left overs. If people wanted to maximize the amount of infantry stands they got from each sprue they'd base like that. Given the cost of of things now that's more-than-likely the case as they're going to want to maximize the $ to point ratio, so it makes sense to keep things WYSIWYG.

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 Post subject: Re: New Squat List: Thurgrimm Stronghold 1.0
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:09 pm 
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On the Berserker having infiltrator, I put it forward because of the sentence in their O&SWs description "[they] excel at clearing buildings and fortifications ahead of the Brotherhood's advance". Infiltrator fits there in my mind. Scout would too.

I agree that 10cm move on the Squats is a big disadvantage, but I'd like to see it playtested a bit more before we look at chancing it. If it's workable it'll make the army very unique.

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