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Iron Warriors 3.2 Proposed Playtest Changes

 Post subject: Iron Warriors 3.2 Proposed Playtest Changes
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:46 pm 
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First off, a huge thanks to everyone who's helped get the Iron Warriors v3.1 list approved (especially Onyx)!

That was a long time in coming, and I'm glad the list has made it to Approved status. However, between playtesting both official and unrecorded, a bit of soul-searching, and a healthy dose of feedback from folks like Graf Spee and others who have been using the list over the past few years, I've put together a list of tweaks I'd like to playtest:

11th December 2019 V3.2a - Playtest
1) Iron Warriors Company gains the ability to upgrade two Chaos Space Marines to Havocs for +25 points (Fire Support - provisional name).
2) Defilers reduced in cost from 425 points to 400 points for 6. Upgrade drops to 1 for 75 points, 2 for 125 points, 3 for 200 points.
3) Armoured Assault Company reduced in cost from 250 to 225 points for 6. Upgrade remains flat at 35 points each.
4) Artillery Battery reduced in cost from 325 points to 300 points for 4.
5) Demonic Artillery reduced in cost from 325 points to 300 points for 3. Not convinced they've ever been worth 325 points.
6) Havoc Company moved from Siege Assault (0-1 per core) to Siege Support (0-2 per core).
7) Obliterators moved from Siege Assault (0-1 per core) to Siege Support (0-2 per core).
8 ) Ordinatus Medrengard reduced to 600 points, gains Fearless, critical hits are reduced to +1 additional point of damage (see reference sheet).
9) Siege Hammer Company increased to 1 Lord and 8 units for 225 points.
10) Siege Hammer Company can take Land Raiders (again) as a unit upgrade.
11) Siegelord brought into parity with the Banelord; tail gains the battle cannon shot, titan gets the EUK battlehead (Heavy Flamer + small arms EA +1) and FF is reduced to compensate, power claw is upgraded to a Doomfist (+ Deathstorm shots).

The majority of the changes are slight points tweaks and adjustments to the force selection tables. There's a lot of useful upgrades or alternative ways of playing (dreadclaws, anyone?) that are hard to reach for in the existing list while staying competitive. I think Onyx kept some units conservatively priced for the initial list in order to avoid creating something too OP (which is laudable!), but I think the needle might have shifted a little too far that way. Additionally, I think the current version of the list is way too Siege Assault -heavy, especially considering the relative cost of most of the core formations needed to unlock them and still maintain a competitive list.

Some units (Siege Hammer Company, Siegelord) as they currently exist are either too weak, or underpowered for their intended purpose, so I'm hoping to make them a little more attractive this way. As for the Ordinatus, I'm looking to bring it a little closer in line with the EUK list (Fearless, cost), but am considering a change to the crit to make it slightly more durable.

I'm hoping to collect feedback on some of these tweaks over the next couple of months, i.e., are certain units (Havocs, Siege Hammer) a little more attractive as options now? has anyone else actually fielded a Siegelord in a 3000-4000pt game? Is anything in here actually game-breaking on the tabletop?

The goal will then be to lock in a final list of changes, get a few more battle reports in to lock them in, and then propose the revision for the tournament pack.

Iron Warriors v3.2 Playtest (link below)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WgKBh_6WoN-M-6jxJkBGB57gFGK6tUSF/view?usp=sharing

In the meantime, if there's anything anyone particularly wants to see or expected to see that I haven't included in this initial playtest list, please let me know here and we'll talk it through. Certainly appreciate any and all feedback (including whether or not the hyperlink to my google drive there is working! ;))

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 Post subject: Re: Iron Warriors 3.2 Proposed Playtest Changes
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:06 pm 
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I'll give these a shot the next time we get together.

I think you can go to +175 for 3 Defilers though.

1 = 75 points
2 = 62.5 points
3 = 58.3 points (instead of 66.7 at +200)

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 Post subject: Re: Iron Warriors 3.2 Proposed Playtest Changes
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:27 pm 
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That sounds like a good set of changes.

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 Post subject: Re: Iron Warriors 3.2 Proposed Playtest Changes
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:18 am 
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So, I’m simply wondering. Why push to approve a list, and then as soon as that goes through, turn to feedback and immediately start to tweak it? Are lists being put up for approval deliberately made a bit weak in hopes of getting it through easier , only to then end up with a competitively poor version in need of further work?

And has a list ever not been approved due to it not lacking in strength, but rather for being too weak. As in , “no , we can’t have this go into the Tournament Pack, it would get it’s but kicked every time”?

Sorry if It sounds like I’m complaining or whining , I’m not, I’m just curious how this whole list voting and stuff goes down.

Luv the Iron Warriors , gonna be rolling em out , hopefully a lot 2020

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 Post subject: Re: Iron Warriors 3.2 Proposed Playtest Changes
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:50 am 
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Cyguns wrote:
So, I’m simply wondering. Why push to approve a list, and then as soon as that goes through, turn to feedback and immediately start to tweak it? Are lists being put up for approval deliberately made a bit weak in hopes of getting it through easier , only to then end up with a competitively poor version in need of further work?

And has a list ever not been approved due to it not lacking in strength, but rather for being too weak. As in , “no , we can’t have this go into the Tournament Pack, it would get it’s but kicked every time”?


Valid questions, all of them. I can't speak to how the sausage is made generally, although believe me, lists aren't kept deliberately weak in order to obtain approval - the goal is to have a reasonably balanced army list that can perform well at tournaments.

In this case, the Iron Warriors list has been going through development for roughly ~6 years. Onyx launched the initial list in 2013, he finalized his developmental list as v3.1 through for approval back in late 2015, and it's largely been static since then.

I've been using the list locally since ~v2.5a / mid-2015, but hadn't contributed battle reports mostly because I was still a pretty crummy Epic player and didn't think I had anything reliable to contribute. As far as I know, Onyx has a bunch of life stuff going on and hasn't been really active in the community for a few years. Now, I love the Iron Warriors' fluff and the army, and wanted to see this list finally make it to approved status.

Since mid-2018, after several years of running IW in tournaments with TOs' permission I got to talking with Dave who's in my extended gaming group about how the list really might as well be approved at this point, and wound up putting my money where my mouth is and trying to shepherd the list through to approval.

When I seriously got started with that in early 2019, the list had been static for 4 years, playtested extensively by the Australian group back in 2016, and hadn't seen much "official" playtest action by anyone else. It didn't really make sense to reset the list, make a bunch of changes, and then restart the approval process since we were already about halfway there with me backfilling battle reports as well.

Is v3.1 valid and competitive? Yes. It's powerful against some lists (I've tabled Speed Freaks and Ravenguard both in a pair of memorable games), and extremely vulnerable to others (oh dear god, Iyanden...), but that's to be expected.

V3.1 is on the books and will be for a while, I expect. What I'm proposing here are a series of potential playtest changes based on my experiences with the current list over the past 4 years or so. In my opinion it's good, but there's some formations that rarely if ever see use, others that I think are only slightly overcosted, and a few that might not be in the right portion of the force org chart. There's no guarantee that *any* of these changes will ever be adopted - playtesting is exactly that, poking at the tweaks to see how reasonable they are or aren't. Whether some or any will be adopted will be based on community engagement & feedback; I have no intention of ramrodding anything through because I feel like it ;)

I did manage to get a good playtest game in last weekend that I'm currently working on a battle report for, and will hopefully have up online in the next day or so along with initial impressions on the affects of the tweaks I employed.

As for yourself, feel free to use the v3.1 version in the tournament pack! If you get a few games in and get a good feel for how the list plays now in approved state, if you feel like tying out some of the v3.2 playtest suggestions, by all means please do, and give me your feedback as I'll be happy to get your impressions about the differences! My goal ultimately isn't to make anything more *powerful* but rather to give the army more variety and open up more playstyles and alternative viable lists.

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 Post subject: Re: Iron Warriors 3.2 Proposed Playtest Changes
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:37 pm 
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Awesome reply! Yeah I intend to ofc play the approved version to begin with, and I will also be playing the EUK list since that list allows you to easier field the big stuff, Titans and Ordinatus, fun fun. Indeed some of the cost reductions you purpose seems to bring the list a bit closer to the EUK lists costs. Now all this said, I like you haven’t grown the confidence to feel my reports are of much use, but that is changing. So you might very well hear back from me, with some 3.2 test runs.

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 Post subject: Re: Iron Warriors 3.2 Proposed Playtest Changes
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:17 pm 
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Ok, the first battle report of my own is up - Iron Warriors v3.2a vs. Minervans (3000pts):

http://www.tacticalwargames.net/taccmd/viewtopic.php?f=84&t=34188

My opponent shorted himself by 100 points, but in all honesty, with the way I rolled in on him, that might have made the difference between a 3-0 win and a 2-0 win, but would not have dramatically affected the outcome.

Some thoughts:

Havocs are a small and relatively fragile BTS, but at least Land Raiders are hard to kill.

Not sure yet whether the Siege Hammer company is too powerful at 8 infantry. There's no macro in there (other than the Chaos Lord), but the added bodies do help contribute to potential outnumbering. I think I like "more bodies" over "more special rules" though. We'll see. They did hold ground in cover and distract my opponent pretty effectively once they'd dropped though, so the 15cm move and no ranged weapons weren't really as much of a disadvantage as most people probably think. at least with 2 extra bodies.

Being able to take three core units and let that unlock Obliterators, Dreadnoughts, Siege Hammer, and Terminators is powerful. It's expensive and you can't then take an Ordinatus or multiple artillery batteries, and you're relying on Vindicators to do a lot of work for you, but that's a LOT of drop assault power for a Chaos Marine army. Being able to spread the full assault out over two turns helped as well. I'm not sure this army would survive waiting until turn two to drop everything.

I don't think the points reductions to Defilers or Vindicators are really that significant for their formations (strips out some of the points tax that was initially built into them), but unlocking ~75 points' worth in the Core section does unlock an extra activation for Iron Warriors. Typically I find myself around 8-9 activations with spare points, but not enough list flexibility or enough points to take another. Reducing overpriced core formations' cost and reorganizing the force org chart (Havocs and Obliterators to Siege Support where they probably belong) definitely unlocks more options and more potential list variety.

These two combinations (Obliterators in Support, room in the list for an additional activation due to points costs), are what I'll probably want the most testing from the community on - have I unintentionally turned the Siege Assault Chaos list into an extremely hard-hitting and durable ground-holding drop assault list? If so, is that ok?

Aside from the artillery, the list I fielded feels perhaps more like a Speartip assault force like the Sons of Horus / Black Legion would want to use, so within a broader *Chaos* siege assault list, that part stays reasonably fluffy.

Honestly, Minervans are particularly vulnerable to a heavy drop assault list like this. I got pretty lucky in my targets, and the Stormtroopers might have been able to do more damage if they'd been given freer reign, or if he'd taken a second formation instead of the Mechanized Platoon (and used up the last 100 points). Chances are I could have won 2-0, after getting most of the forces I'd sent over the midline mulched and maneuvering to claim objectives with Vindicators. Would have been a different game, but possibly not that much.

Things I want to try:
- Same thing vs. other lists - how does this work vs. Marines, Steel Legion/Cadians, Eldar, Orks?
- Full mechanized ground assault, possibly with Titan support - is this as effective?
- Upgraded Siegelord (did I rebalance this, or possibly make it a bit more powerful? - not sure it's been tested enough in the NetEA list to tell)
- The more durable Ordinatus (this one was suggested to me; not my idea originally)

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 Post subject: Re: Iron Warriors 3.2 Proposed Playtest Changes
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:08 pm 
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I didn't know Iron Warriors needed some improvement, as they have cheap SR 4 Ini 1+ artillery, brutal drop assaults, and super cheap Tanks ( with walker and FF 4+) ... Having played against them, they seem like a well rounded army.

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