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Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2

 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 1:55 pm 
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Tim perhaps you could put up a locked and Stickied thread with the latest Eldar lists in it.


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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:54 am 
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I can't see the list that's supposed to be attached here, but having just looked through the 2016 tournament pack I'm really hoping the next Eldar update includes one little detail that keeps annoying me:
Why do Banshees only gain First Strike thanks to a piece of wargear? It means that any Exarch or Autarch joining them does not benefit from it, so you can almost guarantee that these characters will need to fall back on their weaker FF attack (Autarch) or gain no combat benefit at all (Exarch).
It can be argued (and has been argued) that Inspiring is more than enough for the points paid, but the only other Aspect to suffer from a similar problem is Dire Avengers (and they do not suffer as badly, as it's up to the controlling player to decide if they want 2xFF4+ or 2xCC5+, not an irritating game mechanic).
What I really don't understand is that I've bought this issue up previously, and received the common response that 'we houserule it so the Exarchs and Autarchs get FS too'- if this is such a common houserule, why not do the very minor tweak to make it an actual rule? Banshee Masks can be left as a piece of wargear with no special effect if wanted, just shift First Strike into the unit notes (as it is with Warp Spiders).

This is a particular bugbear of mine as I want to be able to run a Banshee heavy list (Iybraesil themed), but right now that's a lot of harsh self-penalising.


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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 10:56 am 
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EpicUK gave the exarchs specific weapons so they share the abilities of their unit, their HB exarchs get first strike too, I've no idea why there is such resistance to adopting this approach, it's functional and actually streamlines the game as you don't need separate sets of dice, banshees are already regarded as being a weak choice for aspect warriors, 1-2 extra FS attacks from the exarchs makes them more useful IMO

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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:30 am 
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Totally agree Kyuss!

Geep, you will need other tricks and tactics to make best use of the HBs, starting with reserving them to assault smaller enemy formations, delivered by some form of transport. Ideally putting Wave Serpents in contact with the enemy (possibly mixed with Striking Scorpions) to soak off some of the hits which will otherwise fall on the weaker HBs.

Their main disadvantage is their preferred fighting technique (CC) which tends to leave them in range of the target units and enemy supporting formations. Unless they destroy their target, enemy combat capability tends to get hits through the weaker HB armour. In my experience this makes the HBs a fairly expensive on-shot weapon which compare poorly against other Eldar formations in the same role, specially Warp Spiders.


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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:58 am 
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I know there's been discussion about it before, back when SG was the AC. It was never brought up for a vote, from what I remember it was shouted down as fiddley or something equally inane.

Inspiring is worth 25 points in my book. Throwing an extra attack on after that is more of a token in my opinion. I'm not against specific weapons, but removing them all together wouldn't stop me from taking exarchs.

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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 1:18 pm 
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Quote:
Inspiring is worth 25 points in my book. Throwing an extra attack on after that is more of a token in my opinion. I'm not against specific weapons, but removing them all together wouldn't stop me from taking exarchs.

The issue is not 'is the +1A needed to make it good?', but 'would I ever use that option?'.

Right now, I would never take HB Exarchs or a HB Autarch, and I have never seen anyone who does (in a Biel-Tan list played without the houserule of giving these characters FS). That's kind of a sad thing, especially for someone like me who really wants to make HBs a focus of their force (already a hard task for the reasons Ginger pointed out). Rules as-is, it's absolutely inevitable though. I would rather add 2 Warp Spider stands to my Howling Banshees, so the Exarchs/Autarch can hide there- they have better saves, and the 2x4+ FF is at least as good (usually better than) the single 2+ CC attack the Banshee squad will have. Plus as a FF unit the Spiders aren't on the front line, providing extra Character protection.
Given all the options, why would anyone ever add these Characters to HBs?
If a list option is so bad as to be a 'no brainer' to avoid, then it has no place being an option at all- that's simply good rules design, but is a terrible thing in this case.

To call this simple rule change 'too fiddly' is an absolute joke- afterall, what's easier:
Rolling 10 CC dice needing 2+ with FS (the recommended change), or
Rolling 8 CC dice needing 2+ with FS, waiting for casualty removal, checking if the Character stands are still in base to base, then maybe rolling a few extra non-FS attacks after that's been worked out and it's known if maybe the FF is still in range (the current rules)?

I like the EpicUK Exarch rules, though can see why some may consider them too fiddly, but surely the simple change I'm recommending of giving HBs FS as a 'note' rather than from wargear simplifies things and makes them much more viable as an option?


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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:13 pm 
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It certainly isn't more fiddly from a game mechanics point of view, but is a little inelegant from a wording point of view. IIRC EpicUK also still need to update their wording to make clear if it applies to autarchs or not (I've seen several EUK players field MW FF fire dragon autarchs). However I don't think the need for a little note in the info sheet is a justifiable reason for NetEA to not implement it.

However bear in mind that it is not possible to achieve parity in the exarchs' abilities, so it's a good idea to be realistic about what we hope to achieve. Depending on the formation's role and therefore the aspects chosen for the formation, one type of exarch is usually simply better than the others. For instance for a transported FF formation, let's face it, the best EUK exarch is the fire dragon. Right now it's true that the HB exarch is (almost?) never the best option, but giving its attack first strike is not going to substantially change that. There are other issues with mixing aspects, and HBs just don't mix particularly well with others (e.g. banshees+scorptions should work but the hit allocation rules mean they don't). Then there's to consider, if the banshee is "fixed", what about dire avengers? And the shining spears exarchs are more fiddly too.

Back to this issue specifically: the only time I field HBs is in a pure HB formation, and in that case the best option for an exarch in NetEA is currently still probably the warp spider. That's sad. Whereas in EUK I do pick the HB exarch. And so even though HB exarchs still aren't the best, they become good enough for their particular niche. That for me is the justification.

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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:59 pm 
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Kyrt wrote:
It certainly isn't more fiddly from a game mechanics point of view, but is a little inelegant from a wording point of view. IIRC EpicUK also still need to update their wording to make clear if it applies to autarchs or not (I've seen several EUK players field MW FF fire dragon autarchs). However I don't think the need for a little note in the info sheet is a justifiable reason for NetEA to not implement it.

However bear in mind that it is not possible to achieve parity in the exarchs' abilities, so it's a good idea to be realistic about what we hope to achieve. Depending on the formation's role and therefore the aspects chosen for the formation, one type of exarch is usually simply better than the others. For instance for a transported FF formation, let's face it, the best EUK exarch is the fire dragon. Right now it's true that the HB exarch is (almost?) never the best option, but giving its attack first strike is not going to substantially change that. There are other issues with mixing aspects, and HBs just don't mix particularly well with others (e.g. banshees+scorptions should work but the hit allocation rules mean they don't). Then there's to consider, if the banshee is "fixed", what about dire avengers? And the shining spears exarchs are more fiddly too.

Back to this issue specifically: the only time I field HBs is in a pure HB formation, and in that case the best option for an exarch in NetEA is currently still probably the warp spider. That's sad. Whereas in EUK I do pick the HB exarch. And so even though HB exarchs still aren't the best, they become good enough for their particular niche. That for me is the justification.


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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:30 am 
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Just to be perfectly clear, my proposal is to go from this (taken from the 2016 tournament pack, as I'm assuming that's the same as the list that should have been attached here):

Howling Banshees INF 15cm 5+ 2+ 5+
Shuriken Pistols (15cm) Small Arms
Banshee Masks (bc) Assault Weapons, FS
Notes: Infiltrator.

To this:

Howling Banshees INF 15cm 5+ 2+ 5+
Shuriken Pistols (15cm) Small Arms
Banshee Masks (bc) Assault Weapons
Notes: Infiltrator, FS

As far as layout and clarity goes, there shouldn't be any problem at all. It's also no more inelegant than the way the rules work for Warp Spiders (who already have FS in the notes)- if that's a problem it's a core rules issue.

The only unintended benefit to the HBs is that their FF attacks would gain FS too- but given they're already a pretty sub-par aspect I don't see this as being a big problem.

I full agree with Kyrt that not all Exarchs will be equal, and giving FS to HB Exarchs and Autarchs is unlikely to make them great- and that's how it should be. We don't want to swing the pendulum too far in the other direction to make this an 'auto-include' option. It should at least make the option more tempting, and if people actually have to think about whether or not to take HB Exarchs/ Autarchs then the list is doing its job!


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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 8:48 am 
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Has a points discount ever been tried for the "poorer" aspects?

Haven't thought it out in detail but could bring the headline unit down to 250 and then have upgrade : 25pnts - upgrade up to 4 stands to FD, WS, etc...

Just seems impossible to make 8 options all worth exactly the same points. But at the same time its a shame never to use some really iconic units.


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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 1:03 am 
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Geep, adding FS to the unit notes means that the HBs would also get it with their FF attacks as well. That goes against the notion that their banshee mask inspires close range terror and is quite a large change that may not be well received by the community.

Is that what you intended?


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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 1:13 am 
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Blip, the issue is how to legislate for 'rainbow' troupes with several types of Aspect present. This makes variable pricing almost impossible to achieve. In theory you could take one of each which would level the strengths and weaknesses. In practice the HBs are the weakest 'single' Aspect formation but as Kyrt says they do not easily mix with others because of the way that FS works. However they do work well against isolated small formations eg scout screens - it is more a case of using them in the right situation.


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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 4:52 am 
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Quote:
Geep, adding FS to the unit notes means that the HBs would also get it with their FF attacks as well. That goes against the notion that their banshee mask inspires close range terror and is quite a large change that may not be well received by the community.

Is that what you intended?

It's not intended, but I did note that it would be an additional result. Still, for the sake of simplicity this is the change I'd recommend.

As for how to justify this additional benefit- I can't think of a good reason, but it's no more ridiculous than all Warp Spider attacks having FS (when no other jump-pack type troop does, including the shoot'n'scoot Tau), or Rangers having Sniper on their FF and CC attacks.
I don't think it can be argued that this unintended benefit will break Howling Banshees- if that fragile 300pt unit finds itself relying on the 8-9 (possible Autarch) 5+ FF shots things are already not looking good for them.

I'd rather see them gain this unintended benefit (which still probably leaves them as the 'worst' aspect) and keep the rules change as clear and simple as possible than get bogged down in an EpicUK style half-a-page of specific details for every Exarch.


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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:10 am 
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Geep wrote:

As for how to justify this additional benefit- I can't think of a good reason, but it's no more ridiculous than all Warp Spider attacks having FS (when no other jump-pack type troop does, including the shoot'n'scoot Tau), or Rangers having Sniper on their FF and CC attacks.


Rangers do not get sniper on any attacks in an engagement or in FF support.

from the NETEA FAQ

Quote:
2.1.14 Sniper

Q.Can the sniper ability be used in an assault?
A.Only if it is on an assault weapons or small arms weapon.


From the official FAQ

Quote:
Q: Can the Sniper ability be used in an assault?
A: Unless specifically noted on the datasheet (for example, by addition to a small arms weapon), Sniper ability does not apply to attacks in assaults.


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 Post subject: Re: Biel-Tan Craftworld v4.2
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 8:05 pm 
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Warp spiders have FS because they appear from the warp right on front of you as if from nowhere. There's a cool dawn of war trailer that illustrates it quite well IIRC. For me this is represented really well in Epic with JP+FS. Which I guess is why Tau stealthsuits do in fact have first strike also (ie it's not because of the jump packs).

Still, let's not dwell on what is and isn't a valid comparison. Its just a question of whether the unintended consequence of FS FF attacks is better than having a wordy note, so I guess that is just a point on which people will naturally disagree.

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