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White Scars Trial List -2017

 Post subject: Re: White Scars Trial List -2017
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:19 pm 
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Now more general comments:

I know JZ that you want to get batreps in before going further with changes, but you've got several people saying they are just not interested enough in the list as it stands to do it. I know there are some people who don't want the list to change and are happy to leave it in the cupboard (and never play it themselves), which is fine, the official list is never going to disappear off the face of the planet. Yet we have seen far more radical development in other lists like Fists, who for some reason are judged on a completely different scale. If we're not happy to simply remove all transport options, add fortifications and call the IF list done, it ought not to be good enough for WS either.

To me the white scars actually present what could be a good opportunity to break the codex and Templar air assault mould, and be the fast ground assault list. But it needs to be taken back to first principles: if you cut away the staples of marine power lists (terms in thawks, strike cruiser+devs in pods) then:
1. you need to go further than adding walker to bikes and the double edged sword of bigger formation size
2. there's a big chance to take a look at what would really make such a force effective, and go all out to incentivise it.

At the moment you shepherded to take what is basically a codex list, swapping 4 terminators for 8 bikes in the thunderhawk, and without any devastators, orbital bombardment or drop pods. Even then, it is questionable whether it wouldn't be just as good, or better (not to mention cheaper) to put assaults in that thunderhawk instead of the bikes - being only 1 pip worse in firefight but much less restricted in movement (jump packs vs mounted). And that is in the full knowledge that 2x assaults is only the 3rd best thing in the codex list that you'd put in a thunderhawk.

No matter which way you slice it, the list is suboptimal, and it's a shame because there's a lot you can do just tinkering with formation sizes and adding one of two units to counter those that are removed.

But first things first: what is the actual intended theme of the list? If it's ground assault then optimise for that, it it's striking quickly in general then the dev and drop pod restriction could easily be lifted and replaced with a simple 'never deployed on foot' rule. If it's just to have lots of bikes then provide the flexibility in list design that would incentivise it. Reducing emphasis on thunderhawks just to differentiate from codex is also fine, but it should be countered by a boost elsewhere due to how good this tactic is for marines.


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 Post subject: Re: White Scars Trial List -2017
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:42 am 
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I totally agree with Kyrt
- especially that comment about not playing it themselves.
But seriously its all totally true. I think if theres a group of people who can commit to that direction (Mord, Scut, Glyn etc) then JZ can take it fwd?

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 Post subject: Re: White Scars Trial List -2017
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:51 pm 
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I'm on the other side of this. I'm not in favor of sweeping changes here, I do play the list and I'd like to play it more. The low hanging fruit is addressed in this trial list: upgrades mirroring the codex list. The changes are minimal/conservative but that was the stated intent.

I can stomach adding 1-2 new units so long as they legitimately further the divide between how this and the codex list play. If it's just the codex list with more/different toys, no thanks. Taking away units and options though, or even swapping them out is a no go for me. The list is approved, people have their collections and painted armies. Telling them they can no longer use Unit X because we decided it is lame.

If people want smaller bike formations, do something like we did with the Eldar War Walkers. They went from 6 for 200, to 4 for 150 add up to 2 for +25. Keep the current formation sizes achievable.

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Last edited by Dave on Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: White Scars Trial List -2017
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:35 pm 
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how about we start a new developmental list called White Speed Marines

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 Post subject: Re: White Scars Trial List -2017
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:04 pm 
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I agree with Kyrt too. The current WS list is crap and almost noone is using it. I don't care if it was approved by GW long time ago.
Yes, lets do a new one that is better and has a more distinct flavour from the Codex list.

My suggestion is this:

Make the following formations core formations that opens up 2-3 support formation each:

Scout bikers (4 stands) 200p
Bikes (5 with the ability to add 1-3 more for xx points) 200p

Give them hit and run rule
Give all bikes walker
Give the Storm Talons instead of thunderbolts
No heavier titans (only warhounds)

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 Post subject: Re: White Scars Trial List -2017
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:22 pm 
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Dave wrote:
I'm on the other side of this. I'm not in favor of sweeping changes here, I do play the list and I'd like to play it more. The low hanging fruit is addressed in this trial list: upgrades mirroring the codex list. The changes are minimal/conservative but that was the stated intent.

I can stomach adding 1-2 new units so long as they legitimately further the divide between how this and the codex list play. If it's just the codex list with more/different toys, no thanks. Taking away units and options though, or even swapping them out is a no go for me. The list is approved, people have their collections and painted armies. Telling them they can no longer use Unit X because we decided it is lame.

If people want smaller bike formations, do something like we did with the Eldar War Walkers. They went from 6 for 200, to 4 for 150 add up to 2 for +25. Keep the current formation sizes achievable.

Good to hear a dissenting view from someone who uses the list. There's always a risk in list development threads it becomes a bit of an echo chamber amongst those motivated to make changes. So long as we pay close attention to balance I think we will be OK. I for one have no intention to make an abusable OP list.

Does it not speak for itself though that there is literally no unit in this list that cannot be fielded in the codex list? Agreed that it makes sense to keep the option for the current 8 bike formation, this is the only thing the list has in exchange for everything that has been removed; I am after the ability to field more bikes i.e. in more flexible formation sizes exactly like you describe. If we did that no collection would be invalidated. If we can't stick to that then we will need to decide early on whether it needs to be a separate list.

Either way, the list already has plenty removed from it, albeit some of it is only 'half removed', like technically you can drop pod but it is suboptimal since it's the one formation you quite like to have in rhinos guarding the blitz, technically you can put terminators in thunderhawks but never would. You're paying the same points for these things but don't have the chance to use them. Terminators are significantly worse but the same price. Heck even the bikes are overpriced (8 without walker would be 305). If there really needs to be more removed (and I would argue for points breaks anyway) it would not affect anyone's list to officially drop the thunderhawk option from terminators (make the formation 4+4), and probably the same is true of cutting drop pods entirely. (As a bonus the white scars transport rule would be simpler too).

However even without removing anything more, I think there is easily justification and scope for more bike options to plug the deficit compared to codex. The formation size is a clear candidate, scout bikes another. An attack bike with multi melta could be a useful and obvious one too, given there are official models for it. To me these are all relatively uncontroversial.

I am reticent about hit and run, I see the reasoning given the white scars style but it is a big change that will be hard to balance. Certainly I suggest if trialled at first it should only be the consolidate part and not the move shoot move part, and only apply to bike formations. It definitely means a splinter list.

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 Post subject: Re: White Scars Trial List -2017
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:50 pm 
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Ok lots of good discussion here. I really appreciate everyone's input. While everything I am about to say is directly based on above comments, I don't have the time to specifically quote each bit of text and anyways, it's addressed to everyone that is participating anyways.

in no order of priority or chronology...

1. Limited changes at this moment doesn't means any (and probably everything) isn't on the table. I said These changes, not only these changes.
2. There's a simple element of practicality on the scope of changes at one time. Some small stuff might just pass ERC by fiat. Other small scoped changes can often be accepted by just a couple of batreps as a sanity test. Larger changes, in quantity and quality, will progressively push this closer to the ERC treating this as a new list and giving me the full 18 treatment. I am trying to get changes in the TP at a faster tempo for this list than average. Immediate benefit, even if containing smaller scopes, at a fast iteration is a win. Waiting 2 yeas while we dredge up the tests to finally show balance for approval jsut means no benefit for players in the interim.
3. Do recognize, as excellently noted by Dave, that this is a long time approved list (we can debate power and sanity and quality in another thread) and even more importantly recognize that unlike most of the NetEA lists, was cut from whole cloth by GW. We tend to treat those lists with a bit more caution than typical, just out of respect. Likewise though, that's not prevented changes, sometime deep structural ones, from occurring over time on GW produced lists (Look at the 1.0 Tau 3rd phase list from FW and the current incarnation). This also means, for those that play and have legacy collections, that the GW original lists are archived and supported via systems like Army Forge. They are no less "APPROVED" than anything else for both tournament and friendly play.
4. This thread and document in the OP had its genesis in the period of time that I was acting Marine AC. It therefore had a huge number of ancillary concerns that are not applicable (or at least not as much) today. Most importantly being that I guess I am actually the subAC on white scars, vs giving some attention and thought to a problem list with a minimum of effect while we didn't actually have someone to run it. That's not the case now. Let's not also forget that direction and attention was being funneled towards the RG list for the final push. So it's not illogical to expect a somewhat more aggressive set of tests, trials, and other doo-dads to be attempted, provided we can get testers
5. Leading to this point: Yes lists have to inspire tests. Equally though, people need to be willing to test, even if they don't like all of the design otherwise it's ants at a picnic. However though just because a trial list is out there and you want to see more changes then shit guys, Go BATREP IT THEN AND SHOW WHY WE SHOULD DO THE BIGGER CHANGE. Seriously the hobby police are not going to fine you because you want more changes NOW and go off the current document. Want scout bikers and think I'm being overly cautious, then DO IT. Seriously, prove me wrong. I love to be wrong! k? :) <3 [high fives] Anything else is just noise.
6. We do have a responsibility to not invalidate a collection. That doesn't mean that everything in the collection today is used the same way (see: vindicators). Lots of changes to be had and SOON!

tl;dr

You can stand on me, mates. It's going to quickly move from sh!tty stinky to smelly-farty to not entirely distasteful all the way to pretty-cool in short order.

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 Post subject: Re: White Scars Trial List -2017
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:03 pm 
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OK longer term planning here:

Defining the theme.
GW, in their infinite game design capabilities, simply themed this as "we like WS...we think we should have a list". Seriously it's total shite. Therefore the theme of this list (aka mission statement) is: Marines operating as a land based rapid strike force. Leveraging high mobility, more flexible formation sizes/counts/options than a typical codex force in order to overwhelm an opponent with hit and run strikes and superior close air support."
Feel free to argue better wording and ideas. But at least we now have a yardstick to measure by

Reworked WS Transport rule.
Without a doubt terribly worded and frankly dumb as is. In the spirit of the WS fluff, the real point should be that they don't dump rhinos so they can garrison up table. They don't go anywhere with motorized transport. Without a doubt this lame restriction is getting the rework and it's up next. It's just overly restrictive and way easier to accomplish the theme with an ASR.

Point Drops.
Done and done. There's DEF going to be some serious point drops for units that have their options reduced due to the ASR noted above. Case in point, IF Termies are way less flexible than Codex therefore cost less. Similar concepts will be applied here.

More flexible units/Additional units.
There's specifically game and formation level changes that we can leverage. Including, but not limited to, more flexible bikers and more options on bikers. WS love speeders as well and use them very extensively. Some units, which do not appear at this time in other lists or are limited in those list, are noted in modern WS fluff (which to be fair, they really now have fluff that works on a game play level) as being proponents of. Storm Talons (with more options), LS Storms, scout bikers, etc are all tings they are big on. Expect some investigations there in.

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 Post subject: Re: White Scars Trial List -2017
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:03 pm 
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So we need batreps for the vindicator change?

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 Post subject: Re: White Scars Trial List -2017
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:15 am 
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Honestly a couple and I'm sure they'll accept it. It's such a fringe unit and even harder to synergize in WS that the list isn't going to spin out of control. More an attempt to make the unit usable, and as I'm sure to please Dave, allow an existing collection to have relevance. If they don't take it without more testing, then we shrug and just go on to do some more changes discussed above since we're stuck doing more reports anyhow, might as well make it count then.

From there we're onto getting storm talons in for air support. They're all about them in fluff, after all. Again, a couple of sanity reports should get them in there approved.

After that and I'd like to rework biker to allow standard size with option to expand, investigation into the WS Lance's they use, and the tempest which has huge potential to make the strike cruiser worth it again. Oh and reworked transports rule.

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 Post subject: Re: White Scars Trial List -2017
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:34 pm 
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We're gaming this Saturday, I'll try to get a battle report in with the trial. Failing that, at least a game.

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 Post subject: Re: White Scars Trial List -2017
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:42 pm 
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have I said that you're a fine human (despite what Apoc claims) and you have wonderful hair, recently?

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 Post subject: Re: White Scars Trial List -2017
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:49 pm 
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My hair hasn't been wonderful up until recently?

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 Post subject: Re: White Scars Trial List -2017
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:50 pm 
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jimmyzimms wrote:
you have wonderful hair


Can confirm it has always been so. It's magnificent like Rachel Green's was back in the day. In all rightfulness, children everywhere should rouse their parents demanding their hair be snipped and styled into "The Dave" until a glorious tide of facsimi... what? Too much? Aww.


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 Post subject: Re: White Scars Trial List -2017
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:39 pm 
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Good to hear you're thinking about re-imaging the list :)

If you want to keep the option for the current 8 strong formation in the list but have it flexibly smaller I would suggest he base formaion be 4 for 175 that can have 4 more added for +175. That'd represent the hit and run / feigned flee tactics compared to the codex 5 strong unit without any special rule needed and you'd be able to run the list higher activation and more flexibly than now.

Quote:
investigation into the WS Lance's they use

I don't think they're relevent at this scale. If a biker uses a chainsword or a lance it's much of a much-ness and already well covered by their 3+ CC (a translation of the 40k ability of 3 SM bikers would expect CC4+ so CC3+ is already being generous to them).

Quote:
the tempest which has huge potential to make the strike cruiser worth it again.

Huh? What's the connection between the Tempest and the Strike Cruiser?

I would suggest Land Speeder Tempests be a dedicated formation of 5 Tempests for 200, either 3+ save Lv or 4+ save AV, Twin Linked Missile Launchers 45cm AP4+/AT5+ plus an Assault Cannon. No scout probably balancing out their slightly better armour and weaponry compared to Land Speeder Tornados. Otherwise they're identical to Land Speeders though. They'd be good for fast moving firepower and better at anti-tank duties than other speeders.


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