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Big formations or more activations?

 Post subject: Big formations or more activations?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 2:44 am 
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I'm going to play my first game of E:A next week (Codex Marines vs. Steel Legion IG) and wondered about army composition.  Is it better to go for large formations or more activations?  An other advice about the two armies.  (I'll be setting up both armies in advance, and letting my friend pick which one he wants to play.)
 Thanks!

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 Post subject: Big formations or more activations?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 2:50 am 
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(Pariah Press @ Aug. 21 2007,02:44)
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I'm going to play my first game of E:A next week (Codex Marines vs. Steel Legion IG) and wondered about army composition. ?Is it better to go for large formations or more activations? ?An other advice about the two armies. ?(I'll be setting up both armies in advance, and letting my friend pick which one he wants to play.)
?Thanks!

Great to see more people getting into EPIC, Pariah Press!

First off, how many points are you planning on playing?  

I'd highly recommend trying out the training scenarios in the start of the rulebook if you haven't already, and then progressing on to "real" battles.

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 Post subject: Big formations or more activations?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 2:58 am 
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Well, I've been into Epic since 2nd edition.  I just never made the jump out of second edition.  We're going to play 2600 points (just enough for a Warlord Titan to fit).  

 I don't have any Ork models, and prefer not to proxy, so the training missions are out.  I think I have a pretty good handle on the rules after reading through the book twice.  Also, this is one of the very few chances I'll have to play, so I want to play a "real game."

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 Post subject: Big formations or more activations?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:04 am 
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I know it's sweet to have a Titan in every game, but, I feel, at that low of a point value, a Warlord will make for an unbalanced game.

If you really want to get a feel for things, I'd suggest making doing up two 2000 point armies, playing a game, then swapping sides and playing again! ?Two games for the price of one! ?*laugh* ?Gets you a feel of EPIC:A vs 2nd Edition as well.

If you do play 2000 points, I'd advise a 4'x4' battlefield instead of the "normal" 4'x'6, just so things aren't too spread out and forces get stuck in more quickly.

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 Post subject: Big formations or more activations?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:19 am 
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Well, there will be a shadowsword company on the opposing side; I figured that would give the Imperial Guard a fighting chance against the Warlord.  I basically tried to stick to the best-painted minis I had, which includes the Warlord.  Many of my units aren't painted at all!  Perhaps I should increase the overall points value?  

 Of course, you still haven't answered my original question: is it better to have big formations, or more activations?

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 Post subject: Big formations or more activations?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:24 am 
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(Pariah Press @ Aug. 21 2007,03:19)
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Of course, you still haven't answered my original question: is it better to have big formations, or more activations?

Well, honestly, it's a matter of personal choice... *laugh*

The common wisdom is to aim for 2-3 activations per 1000 points played; Orks and Guard can go for a bit fewer, since they can get some really large, hard formations.

Marines need the activations to move and flank the enemy... that Warlord is going to eat up a *lot* of points for the Marines...

Bulking up Marine formations tends to eat up a lot of points as well; other than a character and, usually, a Hunter, they tend to be used in their "original" size.  Some Marine players like taking Razorbacks to bulk formations.

I'd say take your game up to 2700 points if you can, that's been the "tournament standard" for a while, though 3000 points has become much more common.

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 Post subject: Big formations or more activations?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:08 am 
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All right.  I'll ditch the Warlord (or give it to the Imperial Guard) and try to give the marines plenty of smaller formations.  I have plenty of marines painted, so that won't be a problem.  

2700.  Roger that.  Why not play the tournament point value if I'm playing the tournament scenario anyway?  Sounds good.  Thanks for the advice!

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 Post subject: Big formations or more activations?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:15 am 
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A Warlord against three shadowswords? better for that titan that the IG rolls really badly, or it's ging to be vaporized in a blink unless it gets plenty of cover.

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 Post subject: Big formations or more activations?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:30 am 
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Yeah... 3 Shadowswords = very bad day for warlord :)

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 Post subject: Big formations or more activations?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:49 pm 
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Conventional wisdom is to average 250-350 points per formation.

Playing with fewer, larger formations is perfectly viable but you will need practice in how to best use them while also preserving them.  Otherwise, you will end up facing a very large activation disparity, which creates a great number of tactical and strategic opportunities for your opponent.

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 Post subject: Big formations or more activations?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 7:04 am 
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How do these look?

Embers of Doom Space Marines

4 Land Raiders 400

4 Land Raiders 400

6 Tactical Units + transports
Commander Upgrade
350

6 Tactical Units + transports 300

5 Land Speeders 200

4 Devastators + transports 250

4 Devastators + transports 250

4 Assault Units 175

5 Bikes 200

4 Scout Units + transports 150

TOTAL 2675


VERSUS


7th Xenon Regiment

3 Shadowsword Super Heavy Co.
+ 3 Hellhounds 650

Infantry Co.
+ 4 Fire Support Units
+ 2 Ogryn Units
400

Infantry Co.
+ 4 Fire Support Units
+ 2 Ogryn Units
400

2 Warhound Titans 500

6 Rough Rider Units 150

3 Basilisks 250

3 Basilisks 250

3 Sentinels 100

TOTAL: 2700


 Does it look like a fair fight?  A fun fight?

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 Post subject: Big formations or more activations?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 11:31 am 
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Whoever plays Marines are going to have two BTS (Break Their Spirit) objectives to defend and facing the shadowswords the Landraiders are not going to last that long.

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 Post subject: Big formations or more activations?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 11:42 am 
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I would drop the Land Raiders, at 400pts for four they don't work as an independent formation.

They might work if you add a single one to a devestator formation to increase its survivability, and that's about it.

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 Post subject: Big formations or more activations?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:15 pm 
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So, how should the Marines deal with the Shadowswords and Warhounds, then?  Will the Devastators and Land Speeders be enough?  If not, what should I add?  A Reaver Titan?  Terminators?  Dreadnoughts?

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 Post subject: Big formations or more activations?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:20 pm 
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Assault the WEs.  In particular, Shadowswords are not Fearless and will suffer from hackdown casualties for lost assaults.  You should be able to shred them quickly.  Warhounds are tougher.  Your best chance is probably to break them and keep them broken as much as possible.

Speeders make great MW platforms.  A common SM tactic is to move or double move and fire with the Speeders, then assault the target with the Speeders providing FF support.  You get a round of ranged fire at MW5+, followed by another round of FF support at MW5+.  I find that I can usually get something like 20-30 MW shots out of a single formation over the course of a game.

The other major MW source in the list is Terminators.  Teleporting Termies in to assault a formation is quite mean.  Just make sure you teleport them into a position where they can continue to be effective in subsequent turns.

I would either skim some points to make the Commander a Supreme Commander or I would change it for a Chaplain.  Commander, while it sounds cool, is hard to use without making yourself vulnerable.  If the enemy manages to assault you first, they can declare your forces intermingled and break all of it at once, even if some of them are too far away to fight back in the assault.

I agree with the assessment on the LRs.  Unless you're going to use the reduced cost and increased FF (4+)  from the "likely" SM army list changes, they aren't worth the points.  Maybe, if you're low on points, it would be good to put a Devastator formation in LRs instead of Rhinos.

If you have the models, Razorbacks are probably the best fire support value in the SM list.

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