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Squat-mageddon

 Post subject: Re: Squat-mageddon
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 4:25 pm 
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Agree I'd never take bezerkers in that format.

FF probably does work out much of a muchness with inspiring vs 4+. Thunderer shooting ain't amazing but your unit should give you 6 AP hits at 30cm (as have rocket launchers and heavy bolters) as opposed to 2 from infantry when advancing. That's a big difference when shooting at smaller scout units (BM vs broken).

10 warriors at 275 is a nice improvement. TBH you could take it down to 250, I've run the numbers on a previous thread. That 75 point difference between the 175 bezerker units is still a big enough difference to restrict spam.

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 Post subject: Re: Squat-mageddon
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:23 pm 
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StevekCole wrote:
Agree I'd never take bezerkers in that format.



We haven't shown all the rules yet, but we wanted to further differentiate the bezerkers and warriors with giving them different options.

For example, the Bezerkers can take 0-3 Robots and Rapiers (getting in the MW CC goodness) while the Warriors can take longer range Thunderfires, ThuddGuns and Mole Mortars.

I guess my real question is "Do you like Thunderers moving to core, and/or Thunderfires being attachable to core units ?"


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 Post subject: Re: Squat-mageddon
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:24 am 
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Elsaurio wrote:
StevekCole wrote:
Agree I'd never take bezerkers in that format.



We haven't shown all the rules yet, but we wanted to further differentiate the bezerkers and warriors with giving them different options.

For example, the Bezerkers can take 0-3 Robots and Rapiers (getting in the MW CC goodness) while the Warriors can take longer range Thunderfires, ThuddGuns and Mole Mortars.

I guess my real question is "Do you like Thunderers moving to core, and/or Thunderfires being attachable to core units ?"

From my point of view if the first problem we're trying to solve is spamming 14-15 activations, there seem to be 2 approaches:
Either bump up the existing formation size/cost - which is what E-UK did, or break up the core formations to force fewer activations, which is what you've been testing in Aus. I think both are valid, E-UK has more robust core formations and it's easy to define the role of each formation, but I am intrigued to see how the core option works with added thunderfires.

I'm a little more concerned if you start removing other support options and add them to core formations. Not only would it be difficult to manage synergy between different units in one formation (e.g. I don't want thudd guns or mole mortars in my warrior formation - they have very different roles), but as soon as too many formations get close to 300+ points with added support, I'll be dropping to 8-9 activations which will get my Squats dead.


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 Post subject: Re: Squat-mageddon
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:32 am 
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I agree with the others about the core choices. No real reason to take the berserkers over the other options in that case regardless of any upgrades they might have they are still a unit that intrinsically relies on CC engagements which are hard work and take huge casualties even on a good day vs two far more effective FF engage units that can also achieve something at range.

IMO berserkers should be left as they are and changes made to warriors and thunderers to make them more appealing, I love what you are proposing for the base unit sizes/points of warriors and thunderers.


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 Post subject: Re: Squat-mageddon
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:13 am 
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Obviously this is all theoryhammer but for me adding robots to Bezerkers raises a few problems. First off they're AVs (or LVs if you match up with Skitarri) so can't travel in rhinos and can't march thus effectively immobilizing the unit. Also, one of the key things with bezerkers is they're terrible at prepping (only a single shot from the hearthguard) sticking a load of models with decent shooting on the unit removes this weakness.

My other concern about adding thunderfires to warriors/bezerkers etc but not allowing them to garrison is that you're back in the situation of creating new rules to unpick problems with the list construction as it currently stands. Especially as (I hope) the intention was still to simplify squats who do have a lot of random rules at the mo (autumoton, stubborn, spotter, pithead, etc).

Overall, I think we maybe just need to be careful about focusing on the problems we want to solve. For me that's:
- Getting decent AA into the list
- Decreasing the ability to spam sub 200 point units

I know overlords and mole mortars are contentious for some people but they're not universally so. I think everyone agrees on the above two though!

BTW - none of this is meant as griping or moaning. I like the direction of travel - just a few concerns!

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 Post subject: Re: Squat-mageddon
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:15 pm 
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StevekCole wrote:
Obviously this is all theoryhammer but for me adding robots to Bezerkers raises a few problems. First off they're AVs (or LVs if you match up with Skitarri) so can't travel in rhinos and can't march thus effectively immobilizing the unit. Also, one of the key things with bezerkers is they're terrible at prepping (only a single shot from the hearthguard) sticking a load of models with decent shooting on the unit removes this weakness.


If Bezerker/Robot unit is too effective then it can be increased in price etc. But I cannot see a problem as it should run very much like a Steel Legion infantry formation + some Ogryns, which is perfectly acceptable unit.

And Robots have always been able to be transported - they take up two slots in 1.5 and they'll take up 2 in 1.6

Quote:
My other concern about adding thunderfires to warriors/bezerkers etc but not allowing them to garrison is that you're back in the situation of creating new rules to unpick problems with the list construction as it currently stands. Especially as (I hope) the intention was still to simplify squats who do have a lot of random rules at the mo (autumoton, stubborn, spotter, pithead, etc).


I'll go right back to the new core philosophy. Squats currently have two major 'uniquenessess'
1) Unique rules and stat lines
2) A different method of 'overall army construction'.

What we are trying to do is to keep all the uniqueness of part 1, but move the army construction more like the tried-and-tested Steel Legion and Space Marine.

You'll notice that the core choices of bezerker/warrior/thunderer look a lot like Assault/Tactical/Devastator

The Thunderfire stat line looks like a SM Hunter and attaches like a hunter/hydra

Robots attach to infantry squads just like Ogryns.

This means that overall the army should have key pieces and build like a standard Imperial army, but with all the squattish flavour


Hmmm everyone is asking for the details, maybe I had better leak the full rules.


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 Post subject: Re: Squat-mageddon
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:18 pm 
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Beefcake4000 wrote:
I agree with the others about the core choices. No real reason to take the berserkers over the other options in that case regardless of any upgrades they might have they are still a unit that intrinsically relies on CC engagements which are hard work and take huge casualties even on a good day vs two far more effective FF engage units that can also achieve something at range.

IMO berserkers should be left as they are and changes made to warriors and thunderers to make them more appealing, I love what you are proposing for the base unit sizes/points of warriors and thunderers.


Bezerkers have gained +25 and left alone - you can run them just as you have before in 1.5

What we are intending to do is give them optional extras that you can choose to use.

At the moment Bezerkers don't do any 'bezerking' at all. They are 6 or 8 man chaff units that fling around like rough riders. That is fine if that's your cup of tea. But it would be nice if there existed the option to purchase some upgrades like Robots or Warlords to make it into a semi-decent CC unit.


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 Post subject: Re: Squat-mageddon
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:25 pm 
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Els, squat robots are currently AVs so definitely can't currently be transported in rhinos. They also can't march so that's a bit of a hindrance. Don't love comparing across armies but what I would say is a steel legion co has 6 shots base shooting while bezerkers have one shot (at 30cm) and the potential to add one more from a warlord. So adding robots really changes their ability to move up at the end of a turn, lay down a couple of bms to set up an assault on turn 2. Currently, you really need to dedicate 2 units to achieving that.

Would be very interested to see the revisions.

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 Post subject: Re: Squat-mageddon
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:27 pm 
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Quote:

I'm a little more concerned if you start removing other support options and add them to core formations. Not only would it be difficult to manage synergy between different units in one formation (e.g. I don't want thudd guns or mole mortars in my warrior formation - they have very different roles), but as soon as too many formations get close to 300+ points with added support, I'll be dropping to 8-9 activations which will get my Squats dead.



Other than perhaps the Thunderfires, we're not looking at changing the support section at all. You can still take normal 5-6 formations of robots, thudd guns etc as you could before. What we are doing is adding the option of attaching 2-3 units of the 'fun' stuff to the core units, if you like.

The reasons for this are twofold.

1) The basic infantry units are fairly similar in stat line and roles. Having different options means that they begin to diverge a little when you add extras to them. Berserkers become tougher in CC with Robots. Warriors are better at shooting with Thudd guns

2) It actually give the core units a 'reason' to be fielded. At the moment, people just use Berzerkers for chaff. I've taken the Warrior units and once in a blue moon they will do something okay, but mostly they just wander around the battle field hoping to find a tactical role. With extras you can change the role of the core unit.

Again, this isn't very complicated rules. We're not changing stat lines or making things hard to understand. Just making things a little more interested.

Of course you don't have to chose the extras if you don't want to. However I have enjoyed taking Warrior units with attached Thudd guns/mole mortars. For 300 points you get a medium sized unit that can sit in ruins and snipe out with the thudd/moles. The arty gives the unit some extra firepower and the infantry gives some protection. It allows you to play with some of the fun squat toys without using your precious Support slots.


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 Post subject: Re: Squat-mageddon
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:37 pm 
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StevekCole wrote:
Els, squat robots are currently AVs so definitely can't currently be transported in rhinos. They also can't march so that's a bit of a hindrance. Don't love comparing across armies but what I would say is a steel legion co has 6 shots base shooting while bezerkers have one shot (at 30cm) and the potential to add one more from a warlord. So adding robots really changes their ability to move up at the end of a turn, lay down a couple of bms to set up an assault on turn 2. Currently, you really need to dedicate 2 units to achieving that.

Would be very interested to see the revisions.


Unless I am sorely mistaken there exists no rules in Epic that restricts transporting units to Infantry only. In 1.5 Robots could be transported taking up 2 slots but you needed a Leviathan or Hellbore to do so, as they did not have access to Rhinos in the same formation before.

You are correct about the no marching rule, but that's the pay off you take for adding Robots.

If the prep tactic become powerful during the playtest, I am happy to increase the price of the upgrade/reduce number or robots etc. However if you're being transported in a rhino, you're most likely double moving to get into range, which means that your three Robots have the amazing 6 dice hitting on AP6+ likely getting a single hit on the target infantry. Not really much of a prep.....

But this is something that needs to be playtested


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 Post subject: Re: Squat-mageddon
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:10 pm 
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Elsaurio wrote:
Hmmm everyone is asking for the details, maybe I had better leak the full rules.

This, please and thank you... :D


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 Post subject: Re: Squat-mageddon
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:08 pm 
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Agree that the rules need to be out in the open for everyone to have a play with. Otherwise discussion becomes a "Have you tried..." followed with "yeah, in private" which really benefits nobody.

Second - the big thing I see is that CORE units need to be bigger, more powerful and more expensive. Reduce spam by increasing value in formations. I really like the idea of a unique army selection method and the thought of adding 'fun units' that was mentioned got me thinking that there's a posible way to flavour the core units with cool toys and make them (slightly) more expensive by default.

Make each of the core units start slightly smaller (perhaps as low as four units!) but come with a MANDATORY upgrade. The upgrades could be something like:
Berserkers:
+4 Berserker units OR
+2 Robot units

Warriors:
+3 Warrior units, +1 Hearthguard unit OR
+4 Thunderer units OR
+2 Mole Mortars OR
+2 Thudd Guns OR
+1 Thunderfire

Etc. The concept should be clear - tailor the core unit upgrades to (roughly) match up in value. It customises the 'main line' troops to make them interesting and fun and makes Squat armies core units, the Brotherhoods of old, into genuinely powerful, solid, larger units. The support section can remain largely untouched and doesn't entirely kill off low-cost activation choices to help flexibility.

Then again, I'm also a fan of simply limiting all Brotherhoods to no more than the number of Warrior brotherhoods in the army. Instant no-spam berzerkers. But any time that's raised it gets entirely ignored in favour in increasingly complex solutions.


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 Post subject: Re: Squat-mageddon
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:09 pm 
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yeah come on let the squat out of the bag...

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 Post subject: Re: Squat-mageddon
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:16 pm 
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Rules posted in new thread guys. Head over there and start throwing out the feedback and criticism!


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 Post subject: Re: Squat-mageddon
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:00 am 
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Excellent thread, Elsaurio. Glad to hear you're trying to bring this popular army into line.

I posted some feedback in Feb, so rather than retype it all I will just post it here. If any of these items have already been changed just take it as confirmation, but there may be some things worth considering.

Oh and I'd be more than happy to playtest any new versions you put out (which means, try break the list and create a new Squatmageddon until everyone is happy with the result :D )






-------Feb
I expect everyone is now aware that NetEA Squats are going to need some changes if they are going to be used at tournaments.

Squats were allowed to go to the Cancon Epic tournament, but the organiser has been absolutely clear that they will not be allowed to participate again in their current form. It was widely panned as overpowered and underpriced, to the extent where I felt sorry for the people who took the Squat forces and were facing criticism. Last weekend I heard two other Tournament Organisers also say they wouldn't allow them to be fielded in their current form at a tournament they host.

I have been asked by several people to run through the list and see if there are suggestions for changes that would make this list more acceptable to opponents while still playable. Here is a draft list of suggestions and ideas - note that this isn't intended to be a hatchet job, and includes some price drop suggestions as well as increases.

First, a quick glance at what the problem might be:

Here is my first stab at making a Squats list. It has 13 activations (7 of them war engines) more than 40 Battlecannons, 8 Anti-Air armed Formations, a tremendous Titan-Killing war engine, 24 autocannons and a selection of infantry, bikes, tunnellers and bomb templates.

BERZERKER BROTHERHOOD [200]
1 Hearthguard unit, 4 Rhino, Upgraded: 7 Berzerker units

BERZERKER BROTHERHOOD [175]
1 Hearthguard unit, 5 Berzerker units, 3 Rhino

BERZERKER BROTHERHOOD [175]
1 Hearthguard unit, 5 Berzerker units, 3 Termite Tunneller

BIKERS GUILD [275]
3 Guild Bike unit, Grand Warlord, 3 Guild trike

OVERLORD [250]
Overlord Airship

OVERLORD [250]
Overlord Airship

OVERLORD [250]
Overlord Airship

OVERLORD [250]
Overlord Airship

OVERLORD [250]
Overlord Airship

OVERLORD [250]
Overlord Airship

THUNDERFIRE [100]
2 Thunderfire

THUNDERFIRE [100]
2 Thunderfire

CYCLOPS [475]
1 Cyclops

As far as I know, there is nowhere in the game to buy battle cannons so cheaply in such large numbers, or to gain so many cheap war engines with anti-air. It could probably be fine-tuned further, but the point is it is easy to make an incredibly powerful 3000pt army.




Suggestions for consideration:

0-1 Grand Warlord:
This costs 50pts to add to a Bikers Guild unit or a surprising 125 to add to a Brotherhood (infantry) unit due to the 'The Grand Warlord character must be added to a Warlord or Guildmaster unit.' rule. This leads to the SC frequently being added to a bike unit for no other reason (that I can see) other than the huge 75pt price difference.

I recommend that this is changed to 'The Grand Warlord character must be added to a Warlord, Hearthguard or Guildmaster unit.' at a cost of 75pts.
This is an apparent increase from 50pts to 75pts, but in effect makes it 50pts cheaper to take the SC in either the Warrior Brotherhood unit or Berzerker Brotherhood unit.

"Thunderfire - Two Thunderfire units 100pts.
Add one Thunderfire for +75 points, add four Warriors for +100 points"
The pricing of this unit doesn't fit with the way prices usually work in epic; adding a unit as an upgrade is almost always the same or cheaper than the original unit cost.

I recommend this is changed to
Thunderfire - Three Thunderfire units 150pts.
This makes buying 3 Thunderfires cheaper (by 25pts), but makes it harder to spam them as cheap activations.

Overlord Airship 250
May buy up to two additional Overlord Airships for +225 points each


This is currently the single most contentious unit in the Squat list. I don't think I have ever seen a unit so consistently criticised, particularly by the people who faced 5 at a time, but as you can see from my post above it's not hard to make a list with more.

Weapons Loadout:
[] 3 x Battlecannons AP4+/AT4+
[] 3 x Battlecannons AP4+/AT4+
[] 4 x Autocannons AP5+/AT6+
[] Flak Cannons AA5+
[] Bomb Rack BP2
[] Small Bolter Array EA(+1)
[] Overlord Designator Spotter

Having compared them to peers and also played against them, the issue is pretty clearly that they have a remarkable amount of firepower that is unique at this points size.
I recommend they are made cheaper and changed as follows.

225pts
WE DC3 20cm 4+ Reinforced Armour
[] 3 x Battlecannons AP4+/AT4+ (not fixed arc)
[] 2 x Autocannons AP5+/AT6+
[] Small Bolter Array EA(+1)

or with their price dropping further to 200pts

WE DC3 20cm 5+ Reinforced Armour
[] 3 x Battlecannons AP4+/AT4+ (not fixed arc)
[] 2 x Autocannons AP5+/AT6+
[] Small Bolter Array EA(+1)

6 Battle cannons are just too many, and while I am sure Squat players enjoy firing them we have to accept they will prevent this list getting through to approved at this price.

The very popular suggestion to make the unit much more expensive makes it into more of a glasscannon IMHO; even with all thse guns, it will still die. Hence my suggestion to make it a bit cheaper and arm it in a way that makes it easier to balance.

The reason why I am suggesting 3 Battlecannons rather than the previous suggestion of 3 fixed arc (90 degrees) left and 3 fixed arc right is because it would be far simpler to use the model if it was assumed 3 of the mounted BC are always able to point at a target than to use fiddly fixed arcs to represent the way all 6 cannons could never simultaneously do so.

Iron Eagle Gyrocopter - Gain Spotter, no price increase. If spotter is to be in the list, it makes more sense for it to be on a Gyrocopter type unit than on the ubiquitious Overlord.

Or
Spotter - drop this rule.

Land Train WE 15cm 4+ CC4+ FF4+
Change to
Land Train WE 15cm 4+ CC5+ FF4+
It is easier to justify 5+ close combat for a Train carriage than 4+.
If the train has carriages with Berserkers in them, these are already represented by Small arms +1 EA AND (base) +1 EA, so it would still be good in assaults.

Cyclops
This war engine is an amazing war engine-killer. 6 x90cm AT2+ Missiles followed by a battlecannon and then MW2+ TK D6+1 strip void shields and murder many Reaver class titans. That makes it a great unit, but also almost certainly underpriced at 475pts.
I recommend it is given a reaver-class price tag to match its abilities.
As a range-orientated war engine it should probably not be CC4+ but CC5+

Collossus
Underpriced at 450 when compared to similar Warengines. It's DC5 so should be cheaper than a reaver (despite being better armed), but not by a full 200pts. 550?

Mole Mortar
I suggest it loses Disrupt and gains Ignore Cover.

Berserkers
Remain as they are, but Termite Tunnellers become a 25pt upgrade (currently a no-brainer formation at 175pts+free termite).
OR
remove Termite tunnellers, as this unit has a surprising total of 3 tunneller options; Termite Tunneller Free / Mole Tunneller 50pts / Hellbore Tunneller 125pts

Living Ancestor
"Leader, Ancient Wisdom (Squat player may ignore the -1 penalty to retain for any one formation per turn)."
It's either not worth 50pts if it used before rolling to retain (because it works only once per turn, and there is only a 1/6 chance that it is going help this particular roll) and should be made cheaper
Or
It's easily worth 50pts if it is used after rolling to retain (after seeing it failed, and that it failed by just one).

I recommend if it is not the latter, then the price of this upgrade is dropped to 25pts.

Goliath Mega Cannon
DC2. Critical Hit: Every unit within 15cm takes a BM, Goliath destroyed.
That's harsh to the Squats, who are usually clustered around a corner with the big guns. Assuming this isn't to represent a psychological effect, perhaps a hit on 5+ on all within 5cm would be less punishing.



I hope these suggestions are helpful, and again I feel I should stress they are not intended to be a hatchet job to nerf Squats. This is more to bring them a bit down to earth and make it so both the Squat player and their opponent is confident their wins and losses are more to do with Epic's fun combination of skill and luck and less to do with army selection.


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