List building and flyers and the future of the game (Wall of text)

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List building and flyers and the future of the game (Wall of text)

Post  Roland on Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:49 pm

Been doin' some thinking (dangerous, I know).

I know I (and several others) have said recently how we feel "forced" into buying flyers and how they have been shoe-horned in as a must have. How if you don't take one, you are handi-capping yourself. Until now I had a hard time defining exactly "why?"

In 5th, we built lists full of vehicles (because they were resilient ablative armor) and melta (to blow-up the aforementioned vehicles). Listbuilding in 6th is more complex. Vehicles are not nearly as resilient in the long term, so you need templates to deal with infantry, lots of mid strength shooting to deal with any AV10-12 vehicles, some Lascannons and Melta to deal with AV12-14......... and some way to deal with fliers.

We've learned the best way to deal with something is to have a unit, and then have back-up, then back-up for the back-up. We know how to do that for all of the above.... except we are learning how to deal with flyers.

How do you deal with flyers? Well you need something with Skyfire, right? or something with lots of shots. Preferably both. But the only stuff with skyfire are the aegis line, the flakk missile (which is apparently made of prefect diamonds and jackalope antlers),... and other flyers. The flakk missile is an extra 10 points that is wasted the second the flyer is deal with, putting you behind the 8 ball. All you other units have to be very effective for their points to make up for it. The Aegis has interceptor, letting it shoot at ground targets, but it can be locked up by hand to hand combat, can be shot to hell and back, AND takes up 100 points, meaning, AGAIN, the rest of your list has to be TIGHT to make up for it.

Then there is taking a flyer yourself. Its resilient (only hit on a 6, can still evade, and usually with decent enough armor and HP). It is usually equally effective vs other flyer and ground targets. In short, they are points well spent (especially the Nightscythe and Vendetta).

This pretty much means most list will have one, maybe two units that can deal with flyers. They will be fire-magnets, as once they are gone, the flyers will have free reign. If the list has multiple flyer (God forbid its a 3+ Scythe list), they have a huge advantage. This is why the Cron air force is overkill. 2 Nightscythes and a Doomscythe is likely enough to give any player fits, and still leave plenty of units on the board.

Rambling a bit, sorry.

So what is the ideal anti-air? It'd be cheap, decent strength (7-Cool, high rate of fire, and have Skyfire and, in a perfect world, Interceptor. Sound familiar? Its the Aegis gun, but it costs 100 points! Actually its also the Nightscythe, which does the same for much less. And its the DA Mortis Dread, which is 0 points more expensive than a standard rifleman dread. This is why Mortis dreads and Mortis Contemptor are so valuable. They are effectively paying NOTHING for the upgrade, and are equally effective versus air and ground targets.

The real issue is that you are effectively limited to 1-2 anti air units. The rumors coming about the Dark Angels (Skyfire avaliable for Tactical, Devastators, Whirlwinds, along with a decent flyer, and the possibility of the previously mentioned Mortis dread) mean they have a possiblity to stop a list with one or 2 flyers before they even have a chance to start.

With the way air units seem to be built (AV10-12, 2-3HP) this means there is a delicate balance between the number of flyer units, and the number number of anti-flyer units.

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Re: List building and flyers and the future of the game (Wall of text)

Post  Lore Weaver on Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:12 am

One thing your missing.

The Aegis has Interceptor, as do the contemptor dreads (if I remember correctly).

This means you get your 4 S7 TL shots when the flyer comes on the board, potentially blowing it away (or limiting it) before it even does its thing. If flakk missiles had interceptor, I wouldn't bat an eyelash paying the 10 points.

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Re: List building and flyers and the future of the game (Wall of text)

Post  Roland on Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:23 am

Yep on both counts. Thats why the Mortis Dread are so good (dare I say.... broken;)) They are adding the PERFECT anti-air options... for free.

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Re: List building and flyers and the future of the game (Wall of text)

Post  Guest on Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:21 am

I think they needed to slap skyfire and interceptor onto a number of units in the BRB

One in particular, the Hydra. Even with Skyfire, 2 TL Autocannons, 72" range, and no jinking allowed, it still can be taken out rather easily by the Death Ray.

I definitely agree that flyers seem to be a must have now. One though I just had though is the fact that in the Old rules, Battle Wagons had a 4++ cover save negating practically half of ranged attacks, and if they moved 7" or more (very easy speed with Red Paint Job) you could only melee them on 6's

So even with only hitting flyers on 6's they aren't AV 14/12/10 like a Battle Wagon, they are somewhere between AV 12/12/10 and 10/10/10 often with a 5+ save

And even though I have bought 3 flyers as of late, I enjoyed building and playing with them. So I am not sure if there is a point to this ramble... but if there is, I would say that flyers in 6th are not too much worse than Fast Moving tanks in 5th or skimmers in 3rd. In last ed, if you only had so many meltaguns, and those units died, you were now to be dominated by your opponents tanks. Now you need to balance Anti-Tank, Anti-Infantry, and Anti-Air rather than just spam that good old meltagun. And YES GW IS MAKING US BUY MORE MODELS.... but alas we all know that they will keep doing that to us as long as we play this game.

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Re: List building and flyers and the future of the game (Wall of text)

Post  Aegwymourn on Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:06 pm

My only thought with fliers is that it would have been nice for them to either have less HP than a standard tank or have a different pen table (I would prefer less HP personally to keep the game going). I don't see why a super fragile* flier should have the same durability when being damaged as say a Predator.

*some fliers of course might have a bit more heft to them but in previous IA books they just made them easier to hit (ie the Tau Manta).

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Re: List building and flyers and the future of the game (Wall of text)

Post  Roland on Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:34 pm

Adam: You have hit upon the core of the issue with flyers. Interceptor is RARE (and in my opinion, should be).
If the Hydra had Skyfire and Interceptor.... wow. Every guard list will have 2. and a Manticore. My Deathwing list runs 2 Mortis Dread. They are basically walking Hydras with Skyfire and Interceptor. I don't have a flyer in the list because I don't need one with these. I have had *2* flyers last longer than 2 rounds of shooting. One was a AV12 3HP Stormraven. The other was Ben's Doom Scythe and I was an idiot that game. If you let every Tom Dick and Harry unit have both, noone will take flyers, because they will be useless.

The Flyers and Antiair units have to be balance, roughly equal numbers. Playing a Cron Airforce with no Skyfire isnt fun, and playing a list with 3 Mortis Dreads, 3 Contemptor mortis dreads, and an Aegis line while all you have is your Dakkajet isnt fun either.

Its a catch 22. Without Interceptor, Anti air units are easily taken out by the oncoming flyer, if not earlier. With Interceptor, they are taken care of fairly easily. And that isn't tactics or stratagy. Its a crap shoot.

Personal Opinion. Flyers should have been a seperate FOC and 0-2. They then should have had a mechanic to upgrade unit with Skyfire and or Interceptor.

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Re: List building and flyers and the future of the game (Wall of text)

Post  Aegwymourn on Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:23 am

I dunno about Interceptor being that good. You do have to give up your next turns worth of shooting to do so. To be fair I own neither fliers nor anything with Interceptor so I haven't seen it in action. Although with that list you posted up how many points are just tied up in those 'dreads? @ 150 a pop that is still 900 points. If I saw that across the board from my Tau I'd be rubbing my hands together.

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Re: List building and flyers and the future of the game (Wall of text)

Post  Roland on Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:03 am

Interceptor is that good, simply because it lets you shoot immediately. Flyers come on, dakka dakka dakka, and with most units, flaming wreckage drops from the sky.

To use the Mortis Dreads as an example.

If you have 2 Flyers, I'm likely gonna target one with each. 4 TL BS4 Shots... Thats (on average)
AV 10 = .59 glances, 1.78 pens (dead flyer)
AV 11= .59 glances, 1.19 pens (most likely dead or severely damaged)
AV 12= .59 glances, .59 pens (off chance I blow it up, but it'll be down a HP. Give it another turn.)

If you have 1 flyer, I double up, and all the numbers double. AV 10 and 11 Flyers are dead the second they come on, and AV12 flyers will be close (1.18 glances, 1.18 pens) and better make the most of the next turn (which will likely be snapshots only, as they likely evaded)

If you don't have a flyer, great!! Skyfire/Interceptor lets me shoot at ground targets at full BS. Mortis Dreads cost the same as a Rifleman, so literally no loss in effectiveness. If I took an Aegis line and put a character there, I have a BS5 or 6 rifleman shooting. Winning.

If you have 3+ flyers (Cron Air) It'll depend on reserve rolls. If they come in 1 or 2 at a time, I'm ok for a bit, but bad rolling (my forte) will do me in. If 3+ drop in one round, its the beginning of the end.

At 1500 points I usually have 2 dreads, at 2000, it bumps to 3.

Note: Without forgeworld, Interceptor is RARE, as I believe only the Aegis line has it. FW has it on tons of stuff. TONS. Mike S. (dusktiger) posted a bunch of them. I fully expect the Mortis Dread to go away once the new codex hits. In a pure codex enviroment, you can't build any kind of redundancy into Interceptor. You can barely do it with Skyfire (Only flyers and the Hydra have it, with Havocs being able to take it as an option).

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Re: List building and flyers and the future of the game (Wall of text)

Post  Aegwymourn on Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:37 am

Do your calculations include evade? If not those decently impressive number drop to

AV 10 = .3894 glances, 1.1748 pens (damaged flier)
AV 11= .3894 glances, 0.7854 pens (damaged)
AV 12= .3984 glances, .3984 pens (might knock off a hull point/damage)
(reducing each value to 67% or so of its original since evade provides a 5+ cover or 33%)

And as to your point of having them shoot at ground target without access to S8 like GK its not that scary. Sure if I'm silly enough to bring a bunch of rhinos to play you are going to wreck them. But look at a lot of 1500 lists that people are bringing (Infiltrating Chaos, Paladin GK, Dropping Blood Angels were some of the tougher lists at the 1500 tournament that I can remember - and my Tau Smile ) not very many of them are going to be scared of 6 dual auto-cannon dreads and a aegis line.


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Re: List building and flyers and the future of the game (Wall of text)

Post  Guest on Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:05 am

Well in my last game, we started with 5 flyers, and ended up with 1,

and even though both teams had fliers, shoota boyz and lootas actually did a lot of anti-air damage

I heard a similar case in one of Tom's last games where flyers were just hit on snap shots

So, with enough volume it is not hard to deal with flyers. Especially with Skyfire/interceptor

The interceptor issue is that with a 36" move, flyers have free reign to be place more or less anywhere on the board and take the perfect shot. From a tactical point of view this is pure gold with a gun like the death ray or the 18 Shot super shoota round. Its like deepstriking without scatter. If you have interceptor you could contest this, but without interceptor, all you can do is move close to your opponent's edge and/or hug cover.

So flyers end up felling like they are worth more than their equivalent point value because of such great placement. No they are not hard to kill, but neither are Land Raiders if a melta-gun has anything to say about it. They however almost automatically get their perfect shot off while Land Raiders have to move across the whole table. And the Necron/Guard flyers let you place a unit anywhere on the table almost as if deep striking, but more consistently.

This does not break the game but it definitely beats out the points system. This is however easy to say about rhino's in last ed. 35 points, moved 10 marines around safely. had a 4+ cover save from smoke on the turn that mattered. Took 6's to hit on melee for a rush turn, or you had to deal with that smoke save. And for razorbacks, double the cost , transport 6 dudes, add assault cannon or las/plas turret.

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Re: List building and flyers and the future of the game (Wall of text)

Post  Lore Weaver on Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:02 am

Against Superduxlol, I *almost* dropped a dakka jet with Heavy Stubber fire. He made 1 too many evade saves (but I forced him to snapfire, so I count that as a win)

---

On a related note, against space muhrines, the Dakkajet and Burna-Bomba seem to put out similar damage numbers, born out again in my game this week against Dan. Each jet caused 13 wounds on a Waaagh turn. The burna bomba does have potential for more (with the large blast radius bomb) and can hit more targets (but not effective vs AV10/11, like the Dakkajet is)

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Re: List building and flyers and the future of the game (Wall of text)

Post  Roland on Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:44 am

Aegwymourn wrote:Do your calculations include evade? If not those decently impressive number drop to

AV 10 = .3894 glances, 1.1748 pens (damaged flier)
AV 11= .3894 glances, 0.7854 pens (damaged)
AV 12= .3984 glances, .3984 pens (might knock off a hull point/damage)
(reducing each value to 67% or so of its original since evade provides a 5+ cover or 33%)

And as to your point of having them shoot at ground target without access to S8 like GK its not that scary. Sure if I'm silly enough to bring a bunch of rhinos to play you are going to wreck them. But look at a lot of 1500 lists that people are bringing (Infiltrating Chaos, Paladin GK, Dropping Blood Angels were some of the tougher lists at the 1500 tournament that I can remember - and my Tau Smile ) not very many of them are going to be scared of 6 dual auto-cannon dreads and a aegis line.


If you evade, the damage is moot, because you're suppressed (Snap-shots).
Yeah, its not as scary if you're ground targets are Marines or AV12+.... but then it's going thru your fire warriors and can at least threaten AV13 vehicles.

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Re: List building and flyers and the future of the game (Wall of text)

Post  Roland on Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:01 pm

canadin wrote:Well in my last game, we started with 5 flyers, and ended up with 1,

and even though both teams had fliers, shoota boyz and lootas actually did a lot of anti-air damage

I heard a similar case in one of Tom's last games where flyers were just hit on snap shots

So, with enough volume it is not hard to deal with flyers. Especially with Skyfire/interceptor

The interceptor issue is that with a 36" move, flyers have free reign to be place more or less anywhere on the board and take the perfect shot. From a tactical point of view this is pure gold with a gun like the death ray or the 18 Shot super shoota round. Its like deepstriking without scatter. If you have interceptor you could contest this, but without interceptor, all you can do is move close to your opponent's edge and/or hug cover.

So flyers end up felling like they are worth more than their equivalent point value because of such great placement. No they are not hard to kill, but neither are Land Raiders if a melta-gun has anything to say about it. They however almost automatically get their perfect shot off while Land Raiders have to move across the whole table. And the Necron/Guard flyers let you place a unit anywhere on the table almost as if deep striking, but more consistently.

This does not break the game but it definitely beats out the points system. This is however easy to say about rhino's in last ed. 35 points, moved 10 marines around safely. had a 4+ cover save from smoke on the turn that mattered. Took 6's to hit on melee for a rush turn, or you had to deal with that smoke save. And for razorbacks, double the cost , transport 6 dudes, add assault cannon or las/plas turret.

Yes you get a perfect shot (in theory), but the interceptor goes first (technically before the flyer moves).

Past that I agree, Flyers are more like 5th, in that you are trying to suppress them, by forcing them to evade.

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