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Author Topic: Choosing a Fleet.  (Read 3361 times)

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Offline Silent Requiem

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Choosing a Fleet.
« on: May 19, 2009, 08:39:53 AM »
I'm having some difficulty committing to a particular fleet, and I would appreciate some advice from the rest of the community. I have so far played Imperial, Chaos, and Space Marines (ie, the starter set plus a fleet I picked up to match my 40k army).

What I am not liking about Space Marines (and to a large extent, IN) is that every game is pretty much the same. I KNOW that my Battle Barge will trundle forward AAF to get into range with my faster vessels darting around the flanks, and I KNOW that it will then spend the rest of the game on BFI. It doesn't seem to matter who the enemy is, my tactics are a result of my ship design.

What I would like is a fleet that actually makes me think about my opponent and the terrain, etc. A fleet that might need to play very aggressively in some games and very defensively (or even just differently) in others. Suggestions are welcomed.

If I have a choice, I would also want a fleet that:
-has a centre piece model (ie, a battleship)
-is not too alien/one dimensional (my armies are character driven), so Tyranids & Necrons are probably out

-Silent Requiem

Offline Volandum

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Re: Choosing a Fleet.
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2009, 09:20:06 AM »
Well, well, well. Eldar fleets meet some of your criteria - they have a battleship, the Void Stalker. They play very defensively in Eldar v Eldar matchups and very aggressively against carrier fleets.

Chaos can also have some tactical diversity - use some Hades, and then choose whether you hit head-on (with Lock On) or side-on.

When playing SM, do you have to charge in that quickly? If you're playing an ordnance-heavy fleet, probably not really.

What's your IN fleet? Show us. Maybe you're just building it so you don't have that many options. A couple of Nova Cannon may give you more.

Offline horizon

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Re: Choosing a Fleet.
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2009, 09:30:43 AM »
Hi & welcome,

I agree with Volandum, the Eldar fleet does match your criteria on various aspects. If you like ordnance you could do a FW Tau fleet as well. Chaos has various option to play, ranging from gun lines, to fast close brawlers. Both fleets still being competitive.

Indeed, post us your lists. Maybe we can sparkle your interest in Space Marines

Offline Silent Requiem

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Re: Choosing a Fleet.
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2009, 10:14:00 AM »
Thank you all for your comments. I have indeed been considering Eldar (either corsair or craftworld), but the expense of their ships makes me want second opinions before making any purchases. Of the above eldar variants, I would love to know which you think fits my needs better, but then I suppose I need to tell you a little more about what I am driving at.

But first, you asked for my SM fleet list. I have played around with a number of small (750-1000) lists, but they largely come in two camps:

Battle Barge backed up by Hunters; and
Battle Barge backed up by Strike Cruisers.

My usual opponents are ordinance heavy Chaos and Imperial, but I have been driving a BFG revival at my club and we have about 5 new members, so my opponents will begin to vary more.

With the escort fleet I typically drive my Barge towards the enemy fleet AAF so I can bring the guns to bear and to draw fire away from the Hunters. Hunters hit one flank or the other. After the first pass I tend to disengage, as I don't do well in slugging matches, but I have often crippled or destroyed enough enemy ships to pull a minor win. I typically get one LO with the Barge before being perma-braced, but I have never had the barge crippled, let alone destroyed.

The Cruiser fleet is a bit more fun, and typically involves the defensive use of ordinance to aggressively board enemy ships with multiple SC. Again, the Barge is a fire magnet, but it sometimes gets to board/ram, which is always fun. Again, that damage stacks up pretty fast on my SC and I often find myself disengaging while I am ahead in points so that I can pull a win. This leads to my feeling defeated even when I technically win. After all, I ran away, didn't I?

Edit: Rereading this, one of the things that jumps out at me is how much I dislike the "damage sponge" role of my flagship. With little effective range and the lack of maneuverability that comes with it's size, I always have to move aggressively with my largest investment or risk being pinged to death by long ranged lances (chaos) or nova cannon (imperial) with no effective response. I feel that the "it-ship" should have an exciting role to play. It should be zooming around the battlefield spreading death. Instead, my opponents just do enough to keep it braced and then avoid it (and being ordinance based, this is not difficult for them to do).

-Silent Requiem
« Last Edit: May 19, 2009, 10:32:09 AM by Silent Requiem »

Offline horizon

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Re: Choosing a Fleet.
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2009, 10:34:45 AM »
Quote
Thank you all for your comments. I have indeed been considering Eldar (either corsair or craftworld), but the expense of their ships makes me want second opinions before making any purchases. Of the above eldar variants, I would love to know which you think fits my needs better, but then I suppose I need to tell you a little more about what I am driving at.
I think the Corsair will fit you better as they do have a battleship. The Craftworld Eldar have an equivalent of a Grand Cruiser instead, namely the Flame of Asuryan. However in terms of firepower and durability the Flame of Asuryan is just as strong as the Void Stalker battleship.
The Craftworlds give you fewer models (cheaper to buy) but is a little harder to use, the Corsair can rely on numbers, in fact their smallest ships are their best.

Quote
But first, you asked for my SM fleet list. I have played around with a number of small (750-1000) lists, but they largely come in two camps:

Battle Barge backed up by Hunters; and
Battle Barge backed up by Strike Cruisers.

My usual opponents are ordinance heavy Chaos and Imperial, but I have been driving a BFG revival at my club and we have about 5 new members, so my opponents will begin to vary more.

With the escort fleet I typically drive my Barge towards the enemy fleet AAF so I can bring the guns to bear and to draw fire away from the Hunters. Hunters hit one flank or the other. After the first pass I tend to disengage, as I don't do well in slugging matches, but I have often crippled or destroyed enough enemy ships to pull a minor win. I typically get one LO with the Barge before being perma-braced, but I have never had the barge crippled, let alone destroyed.
So a Barge and about 13 Hunters. Make sure you spam the board with lot of boarding torpedoes. Why do you AAF? Let the enemy find your barge.

Quote
The Cruiser fleet is a bit more fun, and typically involves the defensive use of ordinance to aggressively board enemy ships with multiple SC. Again, the Barge is a fire magnet, but it sometimes gets to board/ram, which is always fun. Again, that damage stacks up pretty fast on my SC and I often find myself disengaging while I am ahead in points so that I can pull a win. This leads to my feeling defeated even when I technically win. After all, I ran away, didn't I?
Ah, running way is no defeat. ;) With Eldar you'll do it as well. Boarding with SC is a good option.

Quote
Edit: Rereading this, one of the things that jumps out at me is how much I dislike the "damage sponge" role of my flagship. With little effective range and the lack of maneuverability that comes with it's size, I always have to move aggressively with my largest investment or risk being pinged to death by long ranged lances (chaos) or nova cannon (imperial) with no effective response. I feel that the "it-ship" should have an exciting role to play. It should be zooming around the battlefield spreading death. Instead, my opponents just do enough to keep it braced and then avoid it (and being ordinance based, this is not difficult for them to do).
Yes, the Marines are intended to be weaker versus fleets like IN and Chaos. It's their role...


Offline Silent Requiem

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Re: Choosing a Fleet.
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2009, 11:15:18 AM »
I do indeed spam the table with all sorts of torpedos. In fact, I was inspired to create the list by Volandum's torpedo tactica.  ;D

As for AAF, I find that opponents are more likely to target my fragile hunters if the BB is not able to fire. Once it gets close they can't ignore it, however. They tried ignoring it completely for a while, but with LO the BB is quite capable of dropping a cruiser from 8 hits to 0 in one round of shooting... so now they keep it braced.

I shall think long and hard about CE, and I may start another thread specifically about them if I decide to go for them. I would ask, though, if it is possible to keep casualties light with CE. I hate losing ships far more than I hate running away.

-Silent Requiem

Offline dicnar

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Re: Choosing a Fleet.
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2009, 12:35:21 PM »
As for character driven armies I love that to. I even plan to model some command bridges with 40k miniatures just to add some fun to the game. But as for tyranids i think they have a huge potential to be characterfull. For example all ship in my fleet have an "imperial codename" to give it a little of that moby dick theme. Also with all the bio-upgrades you can try a lot of diffrent approaches so the games are never the same.
My group gaming& painting blog
http://www.eyeofmadness.pl/

Offline Volandum

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Re: Choosing a Fleet.
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2009, 01:29:38 PM »
Always good to know people read what I write.

The standard SM fleet is Battle Barges + Hunters + Gladius, and you can choose how to balance the escorts. The Gladius give you mobile firepower which advances under cover from your BB and give Eldar shivers, whereas with more Hunters you can afford to advance very slowly.

You do advance your BB broadside-on, right? Just checking.

I'm impressed you do that much damage with a BB and Hunters to get a win, that's pretty good playing with the SM, particularly against ordnance-heavy Chaos, which is very dangerous to the Marines.

Most battleships in this game end up being tanks rather than moving death, because they're very good at it. Take the Desolator, the cheapest BB in the game (except the Explorer, which is a dedicated carrier, and highly nonstandard Hive Ship builds). It's got the armament of an Acheron, but is very resistant to fire and ordnance, and moves with the Chaos cruiser force (and takes hits instead of the Chaos heavy cruisers, which are the death dealers). If you want death from a BB your options are basically the Chaos Planet Killer and the Necron Tombship. The Void Stalker also zooms around and delivers death, but will meet a sticky end if Necrons get involved.

Corsair Eldar have the best mobility, which means they beat other Eldar. They are an Escort fleet (plus Void Stalkers), whereas the Craftworld are a cruiser fleet. I personally favour the Corsairs because they can get loads of Nightshades and Hemlocks, and the VS has the only long-ranged Eldar guns. It's possible to keep casualties light, you just try to make sure you only take lance hits. Expect to see an increasing number of Carnages. They should be torpedoed vigorously. Remember that it doesn't count if squadrons of 3-4 take only one loss, or squadrons of 5-6 take two. (So odd squadrons are better.)

Craftworld Eldar have no BB, but also have a well-armed character ship. They can build an effective cruiser gun fleet.

Have you ever played against Eldar? If so you've probably thought of ways to try to hinder their mobility - these are rather limited for non-Necron forces.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2009, 01:57:56 PM by Volandum »

Offline horizon

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Re: Choosing a Fleet.
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2009, 01:37:37 PM »
Volandum: you say Despoiler were you mean Desolator.

Offline Volandum

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Re: Choosing a Fleet.
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2009, 01:57:43 PM »
BH, you're absolutely right. I will edit my post. Thanks.