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Offline Dangerousdave0042

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Artillery formation
« on: February 5, 2016, 03:17:55 PM »
So I've played a couple of games with the artillery formation and a couple of games against the artillery formation and I'd thought I'd share my experience and if anyone else can chime in?

These games were 1500 point and I think at that level the formation is a bit too expensive to take. Probably better to take at 1750+ points.

It's good don't get me wrong, but it does have some weakness.

I found it very difficult to blow up tanks - there's no ap2 in there, and at 1500 points I couldn't take a vendetta? Why? Two reasons - I wanted squads with vox casters in order to twin link the artillery and I wanted some alpha strike defence bubble wrap. This did work, but the problem in both my games was that I completely conceded table control. I ended up castling in a corner and very difficult to get out. I also had two vets in chimeras and a 40 man blob squad with a Lord Commisar (the bubble).

Guess what - every unit is very "good" at killing infantry, but nothing really to pop tanks or hold objectives.

Against mechanicus I took out two T7 robots in the first turnas he had a squad of five robots and three dudes meaning I got lots of hits with the bassies. However, against a Nid single MC you get one hit doing one wound.

This works really well against large squads, but against single tough units, FMC, and transports it does very poor.

It's also susceptible to first blood unless your tech priest joins the command squad or has some servitors as he can get doubled out easily.

An ADL works well as well as for 50 points everything gets a 4+ cover save, but you've got a 600 - 700 point castle. Give the "outer" tanks cammo netting and they get a 3+ and 2+ with night fighting on the first turn. However unless you put the tanks tight up against the ADL or bubble wrap then a drop pod can land outside the ADL and put guys inside the ADL which then completely negates its purpose. Hence the "need" for a 40 man bubble wrap.

Getting shaken isn't too much of an issue as the tech priest can give POTMS to one so it can still fire. That's the way we play - this is not a rules discussion if you play differently.

It seems to be a rock, paper scissors formation. Against infantry or even a squad of MC - you win? Against tanks, or single MCs you lose.

This formation needs lascannon support imo and I can only think of one place where that comes from and that's a Vendetta or two (assuming I am not allying) otherwise probably a las pred?

It also needs mobility support (either as allys) or maybe the hellhound formation - though that's very much anti infantry as well.

I think an anti tank knight (atropos?) would work well in synergy. it can go forwards and stomp anything and then the artillery can finish off the things that scurry out of the wrecked transport.

Maybe a vanquisher LR, but that's a lot of points into a 50/50 shot that's only ap2.

Anyway that's my ramblings - feel free to add / comment on it.
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Offline Spectral Arbor

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Re: Artillery formation
« Reply #1 on: February 5, 2016, 10:54:31 PM »
Hi Dangerous,

You've hit my sentiments more or less on the head, but since I like to put things into numeric form, please forgive my self-indulgence. Also, if I sound bitter it's not directed at you. Just the game / internet in general.

My main issue with the formation is that it forces you to put a LOT of points into a block of units that will, in all probability only secure one objective. At best. I've had many games where due to the way 7th is different from previous editions prevent me from stacking objectives in my deployment zone. In earlier editions, I could ENSURE that objectives were in my deployment zone, which meant investing in a block like this would have been much more useful in winning a game.

So how many points?

180 - CCS with Volkov's Cane, Lascannon, MoO and a Vox, in a Chimera [Ensure those orders work!]
250 - 2x Basilisk [The others don't really benefit from the Ig-Co order, and that's why were running this!]
170 - Manticore [Or Deathstrike, but I'd prefer the Manticore, to be honest.]
  40 - Tax
235 - Minimum Platoon, 3x Lascannons, 2x Plasmagun, 3x Vox [Presumes you're taking a CAD with this.]
875 - Total

While one could take Wyverns instead of Bassies, the Wyvern really gains NOTHING AT ALL from being part of this formation. Same with the Hydra, really, so Bassies it is. Wyverns could come from the CAD, again presuming you're taking one.

Notice how there's a Tax on nearly all half-way decent formations? New model, and no-one was buying it? Formation required!

And I agree entirely on the requirement for infantry support. I've run it without, wanting to squeeze points for elsewhere, but they were wrecked on the double without the bumps to get in the way. So yeah, also agree with the need for infantry. I tried a corner deployment, which I know is supposed to make them magically immune to damage, I guess, but they still got smoked in the side armour somehow. 7th edition being a mobility game, I guess I was utterly unsurprised. But you know... magically protected from everything. And they didn't have an objective to hold, which was another kind of kick in the pants. Can't have everything though, I just need to git guuder. :)

If you aren't against allies, Dreadnoughts make great babysitters. You could even trade out the Minimum Platoon for a couple Dreads, instead. They've got guns, and are one hell of a Melee deterrent. If someone wants to get close to the Bassies, they'll need to deal with the Dreads first, which at a minimum will draw fire from the Artillery. Having recently been crowned the All-Knowing Master of all things Guard, I can say that this could also solve your Lascannon issue. Personal preference would be for AC's, but that's because I VERY rarely see anything with a high enough AV to properly justify the points, but also because if something gets close you can just Hulk-smash them with better-than-lascannon fist. Of course, as you'll see below, that bastard of starting on allies is that you stop playing guard and start playing the allies. It happened to me. It could happen to you! *oooOOOooOOoOoo*

My concern with supporting this with a knight: You might as well take two Knights, instead of this block, then you could take the "support" knight and instead take a 3-Knight formation, and really be laughing. You're racking up the Earthshaker-like shots if you use the Paladin, and you can still maim things with the D-Weapon and stomps, plus you don't have to worry about objectives in your deployment zone... or much else? I'm having a hard time envisioning a scenario where 2 Knights aren't the better way to spend your points than this. :( It's ok though, I just need to git guuder! I mean, Knights have better mobility, better toughness, better shooting damage output, better melee / stomps... and I would say that this is one of the IG's better formations. They'd also be better support for advancing Chimerae, being a direct reason to not get close to those Chimerae and their occupants. But that doesn't matter, ammirite? ;)

So yeah, my beef with the formation is that by the time you make it "workable" you've spent more than half your points on something that will hopefully secure one objective. And then you've got to spend the rest of your points on things that can go out and take ground. Since Russ are meant to sit back, and most definitely NOT advance with your units, you no longer have points for Russes, ammirite? So, uh, what do we spend our points on then?

I'm going to go against "conventional" wisdom, and say that a CCS in Chimera with Dozer Blades [I want a cover save!] with a couple Vets in Chimera with Dozer Blade, all with Carapace and a couple upgraded guns would be in order. To fill out the minimum for the CAD we're presumably taking. We want voxes for the Spotter rules and just in case our Chimera explode and we wind up on the ground, as unlikely as that is. Gonna need those orders. Same deal with Carapace, you know, just in case our Chimera explode. Mine seem to, but I just need to git guuder and that won't happen. That would cost about 540 points.

Up to 1415 points, and I really don't think this will work well at 1500, since I think we need to be able to send more units forward, so I'll also agree this formation probably won't work at 1500 points. My local is 1850, for the most part, so let's see where another 435 points could take us.

Presuming the IG codex is up to snuff, we shouldn't need allies to make a functional army, right? So I think we should stick to in-codex choices.

If we were to buck traditional wisdom, and have Russ that advance with the Chimera, we could put some "tough" units forward that could take a beating and still drive towards an objective, bearing all kinds of deadly guns to try to smack stuff out of the way so our units could take some ground. 'Cause I'm told we just need to shoot the amphetamine parrot out of stuff and then we winz. We could maybe afford a couple of Armoured Sentinels to advance with them, again their primary purpose being to intercept close-range enemies. They could also carry Lascannons, which could be helpful as we're short on "effective-for-the-points" anti-tank weaponry.

Assuming we add Kurov's Aquila to the advancing CCS [and assuming you agree that it can help with gets hot] to leverage the firepower of the advancing block, we'd have 375 points left, and a Plasma-Cutioner would fit the bill nicely. I also think that an Exterminator with Lascannon and Multi-Meltas makes a great tank-cracker. That would only leave us with 30 points, so not enough to get another squad without re-tweaking things. The Plasma-Cutioner could be subbed for a less expensive variant, which would free up enough to buy a single Armoured Sentinel, but really, unless they're in a squadron they'll be picked off. So I'd want to scrape together another 60 points at least, but I wouldn't want to sacrifice the leverage that Kurov's can give. Put the Russ up front, Kurov behind in the middle, and two Vet Chims on the flanks of Kurov and you're leveraging a whole lot of firepower. Ideally, something like Sentinels to give a cover save to the "inner" Chimera's side armour [whichever side is more vulnerable to close range attack].

So I haven't quite put a "complete" army list together that the Artillery formation would fit into, but I think that's more or less the way it would be best played. And since I'm the All-Knowing something-or-other, my word is like that unto Gawd's. The flexibility comes in my "Russ and Sentinels" points, where another player might prefer some other strategy. Emperor's Talon springs to mind, but at a significant firepower cut-back. Using a Psykanna Division as a Daemon Factory could also work, and would provide us some handy shock-troops to clear objectives, bubble wrap tanks and potentially help the mobility issue by summoning "fast" Daemons.

But I'm sure someone will point out that I need to git guuder, and explain to me how I as a general simply don't understand Guard's nuances, and how they're totally the same as they were for the last 10 years.

It's got some good shooty power, but it's hard to win a game when you use it.
« Last Edit: February 5, 2016, 11:01:08 PM by Spectral Arbor »

Offline Calamity

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Re: Artillery formation
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2016, 06:38:31 PM »
The first thing I realised about the formation as well was that no matter what way you look at it, Wyverns are wasted in it.  Which is a shame really.

I was very pumped when I first saw this formation, and I have heard good things about it from elsewhere, but it is a huge investment that needs another huge investment in protection for it.  Not very practical it seems.  :P


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