Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Adepticon 2011 - The Evolution of an Army List

As can be read here, Team Snake Eyes had a great time at Adepticon 2010, but didn't score so well in the area of battle points. While we placed abysmally low (90 out of 110) we considered the event a success. This wasn't some brand of "half-full" optimism that we used to uplift our crushed spirits, but we genuinely learned a lot, met some great guys, and saw some wonderful armies. I also got an ok bloody mary and some fantastic prime rib...

Here are the lists we took last time:

2010 List #1
2x Tac Sqd w/ MM, Flamer & Rhino
(5) man Tac Sqd w/ TL Lascannon Razorback
Dreadnought w/ MM & HF
Vindicator with Dozer Blade

2010 List #2
MoTF w/ Conversion Beamer
2x Tac Sqd with Combi-Melta, MM, Flamer, & Rhino w/ HK Missile
(5) Sniper Scouts
Dreadnought w/ MM & HF
2x Landspeeder w/ MM & HF

2010 List #3
Chaplain in Terminator Armor
2x Tac Sqd w/ MM, Flamer & Rhino
(5) Assault Terminators w/TH & SS
Land Raider Crusader w/ MM

2010 List #4
Librarian w/ Null Zone & Gate of Infinity
2x Tac Sqd with Lascannon, Flamer, Combi-Melta, & Rhino
(5) man Tac Sqd w/ Melta Bomb & TL Lascannon Razorback
Dreadnought w/ MM & HF
Thunderfire Cannon
Predator Destructor

Nothing too fancy there. We took advantage of Vulkan where we could and got the added benefit of sticking with the Salamander's fondness of flame and melta based weaponry at the same time. Our biggest drawbacks were with our playing and not our lists, and we did suffer from a lack of focus. We noticed we didn't have quite enough long range anti-tank as we would have liked, but that was primarily because we played like little sissies and didn't get up in our opponent's faces (you'd think that tactic would have been obvious with over 80% of our army equipped with short/mid range weapons). I decided since I didn't want to completely reinvent the wheel and Mrs. Chosen 1 wasn't about to let me drop the money I did last year either, we would keep the same theme but change things around a little bit...

2011 Draft #1, List #1
(5) man Tac Sqd w/combi-melta, PF, & TL Lascannon Razorback
Tac Sqd w/PF, MM, Flamer, & rhino
x2 Landspeeders w/MM & HF
Vindicator w/Siege Shield

2011 Draft #1, List #2
(same as list #3 above)

2011 Draft #1, List #3
Captain w/artificer armor, SS, & Relic Blade
2x Tac Sqd w/PF, MM, Flamer, & Rhino w/HK
Ironclad Dreadnought w/ HF, Seismic Hammer, & Assault Launchers
(9) man Assault Squad w/Flamer, PF, & Rhino

2011 Draft #1, List #4
2x Tac Sqd w/PF, Lascannon, Flamer, & Rhino
(9) man Assault Squad w/PF, Flamer, & Rhino
Dreadnought w/MM & HF
Vindicator w/siege shield

I wasn't totally happy with those changes, and the points totals weren't perfect, but after discussing things with Aerion and letting things sink in for a bit, we decided to make some further changes:

2011 Draft #2, List #1
Vulkan He'Stan
Dreadnought w/MM & HF
Tac Sqd w/Flamer, MM, Combi-Melta, PF, & Rhino
2x Landspeeders w/HF & MM
(8) Man Assault Squad w/Flamer, PF, & Rhino

2011 Draft #2, List #2
Captain w/ Relic Blade, SS, & Artificer Armor
Command Squad w/Champion, (2) Flamers, Standard, TH, & Rhino
2x Tac Sqd w/Flamer, MM, PF, & Rhino
Ironclad Dreadnought w/HF, Seismic Hammer, & Assault Launchers

2011 Draft #2, List #3
(Same as 2010 list #3)

2011 Draft #2, List #4
Dreadnought w/MM & HF
(6) man Sternguard or Vanguard squad (still working out our preference)
2x Tac Sqd w/Flamer, MM, PF, & Rhino
Vindicator w/Siege Shield

These changes increase our close combat ability that was lacking last time, provide a squad for our characters to fight with (and fight this time they will...they weren't used very effectively last time around), remove most of our ability to fight past 24" (what little we had never made a difference) and focus our purpose...Into the Fires of Battle, Unto the Anvil of War. It also represents a smaller investment in new models than some of our other options. We will, however, be undertaking some work on what we have as well. Stay tuned for our painting "upgrades" to what may be familiar models.

Any Thoughts?


Zephyr said...

For draft #2 List #1, do you mean to say 2x tac squad? otherwise your missing out on troops. I've not been to an adepticon so idk if these are team games lists, which your discussion seems to indicate, or what, but i think there's not a lot of coherency at the moment.
You seem to be using the idea that vulkan gives everyone the TL flamers / meltas but i dont think it works like that, its 'units in your army with combat tactics' instead of 'all allied units with combat tactics'and your lists all reflec that.

One advantage teams have, is that they can really coordinate their lists- I think that if i had a Vulkan list and a partner, i would go with something very similar to list one, but give the dread a drop pod! The teammates list can then be something very shooty- i would recommend 1-2 razorbacks, with 10 man squads and lascannons. A dev team wouldn't be out of place, and for a commander, sicarius would be well spent, as he can give one of those LC squads scouts or infiltrate to get into a premo position.

things i would change about list one... Give the tactical marines drop pods instead of rhinos. You need to be up in his face to use your stuff effectively, and what better than to be there turn one? then, on top of that, your opponent now has a target priority right in his face, giving your allies time to get into the fray without being shot to as many pieces. Drop pods would be good for the assault squad (and he'stan, that's where he goes, correct?) and the drop pod.

List 2- command squads are another expensive squad for what they do. I've never found the standard all that usefull. for it's 15 points you can get another power weapon to help win your combat via kills, and not by a special rule. As i mentioned above, i think drop pods OR shooty stuff would be good in this list

Im a fan of list 3, except for one thing; give at least two termis lightning claws. the reason why space marine termis are so inferior to most others is that they come at base I1. Chaos termis get power weps instead of fists, and most of the time other armies don't use normal terminators, but ones with claws or other I4 power weapons. For insurance purposes, i'd always use at least two lightning claws, especially because you really take advantage of the chaplain- on the charge, you reroll misses AND hits!

List 4 now... Vanguard vets get expensive quickly. really, really quickly. to be honest, in smaller armies i don't think they're worthwhile, only I4, and way too many points for how many attacks / fragile they are. Sternguard are really nice, especially with a librarian. What powers are you thinking of giving him? I think you could get away with (and this would apply for lists 2 and 3 as well) having one tact squad with a rhino or razorback, Lascannon, and flamer or meltagun, and one in a drop pod with a flamer and your choice of heavy weapon.

Please don't take these suggestions the wrong way, it's just how i would play it and im going off of only what you've told me, as you can probably tell i don't know much about adepticon :D

Zephyr said...

Again, i'm not sure if these are all lists played together, seperate, or what, but here would be strategies i would think of for all 3 options

Single- you have a mix, in all the armies, of mobile and drop units. lists 2-4 will hopefully have longer range weaponry because without the benefit of He'stan, you need it. Shoot the killy stuff, Kill the shooty stuff.

pairs of two- again, same thing. Lots of pods in the front while your shooty stuff chews up the assault elements of the opponents army. Don't drop next to the termi filled LR, drop on the other side of the army, annihilate it, and meanwhile your landspeeders / heavy weapons immobilize / stun / destroy that land raider, ensuring your drop elements survival and letting them get more shooting instead of becoming a combat morass.

As a 4 team group- Oh goodness. You have one super-alpha-strike he'stan list that can cripple the enemy's mobility quickly, a harder hitting (list 4) drop that can mow down or chew through a loota squad in cover or that pesky dev team that you dont want opening up on your speeders in one turn. list 2 and 3 while making their way there (or being there already through drop pods) are a constant threat of assault in the coming turns.

I hope i helped a bit !

chosen1 said...

Wow! Thanks for all your thoughts Zephyr. In retrospect, I should have given a bit of context for the Adepticon Team Tournament lists. 4 man teams are used, with each player fielding a 1000 point list. Two players will play together, alternating throughout the day. This means that you'll have a 2000 point army on the table for each game with a different partner each time (except for the last where the team captain chooses who gets paired with who). Adepticon also uses a modified force organization chart 1 HQ, 1-3 Troops, 0-1 Elite, 0-1 Fast, 0-1 Heavy. So when the two lists combine, you'll end up with 2 HQ, 2-6 Troops, 0-2 Elite, etc. To further complicate things, single lists can have an "extra" slot in either the Elite, Fast, or Heavy Slot. Essentially the combined lists will never have more units in the slots than a traditional game would, and they usually have less. Additionally, if you are using the same codex, the rules from your special characters can apply to the other team member's forces since they are, for all practical purposes, the same army. In the case of Team Snake Eyes, if I field Vulkan as my HQ, then any units my team-mate fields that are appropriate, would benefit as well. This is not the case if say Space Marines and Imperial Guard team up together. What this also means is that Vulkan only helps out on the table where he's playing. The other two team mates (who are playing the other members of the opposing team simultaneously) do not benefit from his special rules. Something else to consider with Adepticon is that so called "soft" scores play a role in your overall points, so while the four lists need to be developed individually, they also have to make sense as a whole when considered as a single 4000 point force. Still with me? :) They need to make sense alone and together, not be too beardy, etc. Wow, now that i've typed all this out, it sounds a bit more complicated than it really is. I should stop while I'm ahead. I'll discuss your list suggestions in another reply.

chosen1 said...

Now, before I get into the specific points Zephyr raised, I'd just like to say this is exactly why I put up our army lists up on the internet months in advance. Having extra input always helps because it allows you to consider options that you might not have originally considered based upon the experience of others. As with all things "list" related, actual playtime is king, but this is certainly a benefit to me.

Now then, some of my choices were based on story: Our list is a strikeforce ultimately led by Vulkan to recover some of the lost Salamander Primarch's artifacts. So, while there is some carbon copies in the lists (tac squads) there is a bit of diversity as I considered what was represented in all four lists as a whole. That's also the reason why I don't have any other special characters. I understand it's approved under the "counts as" rules, but I just wanted to keep things a bit more pure than that. I wanted to build a list from my story rather than build a list and then add a story to it. I'm not a rabid fluff enthusiest by any means, that was just the process I undertook.

Other considerations are logistical. I only have three drop pods, and none of them are built. :) I'm not looking forward to that either, but it is what it is. As I have admitted in a few other posts, I use my tactical squads poorly. I have been itching to try out a list similar to Danny Internets over at Bald and Screaming (which puts all the tac squads in pods) and that's why I bought what I have in the first place, but I don't think I'll have the resources to do that sort of thing (at this scale) by Adepticon. Same issue with Lightning Claws. I have 5 TH/SS termies so that's what we're using. To date, the 3+ invulnerable save has kept them alive long enough to get the attacks in, and I always pair them with an I4 or I5 character to get those faster attacks in. There is quite a bit from your post that I'd like to try, I just don't have the models to do it right now. I'm making a list though, so I won't forget. :) My librarian usually rolls out with Null Zone and Gate of Infinity. I've not had much success with either of them, but I like those powers better than the rest. Thanks again for stopping by, and feel free to add further comments!

Zephyr said...

I think my next question is then, it's a salamanders force, where are the redeemers? ;D

My only concern about the lists is that while your ok to miss out on the longer range firepower in whichever list is playing with the vulkan list at the time, the other lists will need some more range to be able to accomplish the same thing. I would suggest putting maybe a dev team in with one of the lists so that they can support whichever list is not playing with vulkan.

You make it sound like there are 4 rounds, right? So it goes
List 1/2 and 3/4
List 1/3 2/4
List 1/4 2/3
your choice for round 4...
So I'd say, pick 2 armies to have SOME longer range elements, even salamanders have them. One dev squad would probably be enough if you have the models. That makes sure that whichever combo you use, you always have the backup range to make up for not having twin-linked-firey-goodness

And i will personally help you playtest your lists once i move down and join you guys =D

chosen1 said...

Excellent! We are light on long range oomph, but you can look at what we brought last year...lascannons, dakka preds, etc. It just didn't do us any good. We had a little bit of assault capability and a little bit of range and both suffered because of it. Don't get me wrong, I don't think what I've done is the "answer" just yet, I just think its the sort of adjustment I can live with after last year's experiences (and my wife's stern "haven't you bought enough?" questions). As always, I welcome comments, criticisms, and playtest opportunities. Stay in touch and we'll figure soemthing out, although I have recently moved to Fairview Heights from C'dale. I plan on coming back for tournaments and such when I can.