Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Breaking Down The Resistance

R-Day approaches!
Reconquest Day (to be known as R-Day from here on in) is quickly approaching, and I can hear the saliva dripping from your gaping maws, creating disgusting saliva rivers of anticipation, which flow into the extraordinarily unhygienic sea of excitement! We have been treated to snippets of info that have been released by various peoples of the interwebs, who happen to have the book already (most namely, Hawk's Talons and other, less wordy blogs than ours).

Well we here at OB happen to be part of the lucky and vocal collective who have their grubby paws on it! In this post I won't be talking about the book so much (which, besides a few layout issues with wording in the history, is beautiful and excellent), but how you can expect the Resistance to play.

Now, some of you may think it is a little too soon to etch out play styles. The book has only been out on pre-release for a week or so, and getting a numerous amount of games played in such a short space of time could only be possible to the super rich, or the super unemployed. I am sadly, and gratefully, neither. My experience comes from having helped Hawk out with the play testing for the Resistance (along with the rest of Team OB), and besides a few tweaks the army has kept its shape very nicely! I decided not to mention this before, as I just don't have the time or patience to be bombarded with questions about MF values on a Beserkers chainsaw, or the air-speed velocity of an unladen Lifthawk...

Anyway, let's go through what I think are some of the more defining features of the Resistance army:

Infantry In Abundance

“I distinctly remember you telling me that there weren't many citizens left on this planet Corporal; where did you happen to gather this intel from? A demented blind Goose?” Sargent Vernon's last words, before he was inconveniently turned into paté by Clump the Beserker's sledge hammer (which was named Daisy. A lovely name, for a lovely hammer Clump says. And we don't argue with Clump).

Although they are perceived to be few in number, and deadly in skill, you may well actually end up facing a veritable horde of survivors. Their standard infantry is cheap and comparable to a Legionnaire, and what their Exotics lack in firepower and CQB skills is made up for in their cheap cost. Cost isn't the main reason for the high numbers that can be fielded though; it is actually due to the transports and Army List. If you choose to take a Lifthawk, you have to take three Jackson APCs, therefore resulting in three squads of troops. Now three squads aren't typically going to be enough, especially as any other forces exotics will decimate the Resistance, so you will need more. This means either taking a few squads of bikes, lets say two for now, or a couple of battlebusses in a Kraken, resulting in at least another 4 bases of troops. This means you will have five bases of troops as standard. You could even be crazy, and fill your battlebusses to the brim and have 8 bases of troops. That's 14 bases before bikes! 

Marching quickly out of Eden Prime's sewer system
You also need to be wary of not having enough battlegroups. With the other four armies you can get a cheap group in by having a single squad in a dropship. The Resistance don't have this option, and the necessity to take more troops means you either need to spend a bunch more points on units to get the extra battlegroup, or try and fill it elsewhere, possibly by having bikes as single scout option.

I like this approach and at the same time dislike it. I'm not sure how many games you will convincingly win with only three main bases of troops (bikes are incredibly vulnerable in buildings, and are 100% more survivable on table), so you need one more squad. Only you can't have one more, because of transport options (I am ignoring the fact you can drive one battlebus on, because it would be a solid waste of time). The extra squad and transport to ferry everything to battle feels like a bit of a tax, and annoys me a touch when making lists. Having said this, it does add a different flavour to the army, which is nice.

On a side note, you can take a single squad of 'Bane-wannabie Praetorians on Venom' (Marine Force Recon) in a super Raven as a single squad. It is stupid expensive though, at 151 points! They are completely bitching, but they may never earn that tenth of your army back...

OHNOSANDWORMS!!! Oh no, Just Some Drills. Wait... OHNODRILLS!!!

If you ever play a Resistance army without one of these, help the player put their models back in the case, and condescendingly tell them to come back when they can write a half-decent list. They are that good. I'll tell you what they don't do first: they don't shoot, they don't move, and they don't help find Spice (alright, I'll stop with the Dune...). What they do do however, is win games. One Infantry unit per turn can swagger out of their building, objective safely underarm, and into the welcoming doors of a tunneller. This will whisk them away to reserves and claim you that objective. The drills aren't particularly easy to remove due to having high DP's, and you can pop them mid-table no problem when they enter from reserve.

This is the last reference, I promise
The only 'normal' unit that can really extract objectives quickly are the Freeriders, but even with their mad Evasion CMs protecting them, are very suspect to template fire. The drill provides a quicker, easier way of getting this task done quickly and painlessly. In a clash you can take two of these bad boys for 100 points, which for tournament play may not be a bad shout...

Oh right, and technicals can pop out of it too, which is very cool, but actually only half useful. If you have a squad they are worth sticking in it as it saves on transport costs, but they can't shoot the turn they emerge so will be fairly suspect to everything shooting them that turn. If you are able to double tap with Gun Techs though, you can be sneaky and shoot down some light dropships if your lucky / clever!

A Big Meh To Passive CMs

Since these guys were first announced, a big question has been 'How will they fare with no Passive CMs?'. The answer is absolutely fine. Due to the general speed of ground units and transports, you are likely to be within 18”-24” of your enemy for most of the game, which happens to be the average range of a countered weapon. Sure, short range units that drive on like the Katana exploit the lack of CMs and are a pain in the arse, but when are they not?

To Horde, Or Not To Horde?

Not to horde, big time. I was asked to play a 48 rocket technical list by Hawk, just to see if it would work. It didn't. In fact, it was the worst game of DZC I have ever played! Not due to my lovely opponent, Edchopp, but due to the complete impotence of the army in general. With that many units you end up getting shot out of coherency all the time, meaning your moves are effectively halved while you try and get your squads back into it. Absolutely buy the models, you can always use them for 2k / 2.5k games, but just don't bother at 1.5k. There is nothing fun about removing 10-15 models a turn, and literally killing 4-5 models in return.

On a side note, I actually won that game thanks to a drill. See, I told you they were good!

Tight Games

Resistance suffer a little with manoeuvrability, especially if their bikes and drills are gone, and tend not to win by great margins. This is probably down to their troops being a little weaker in CQB than general, and a heavy reliance on a few great units. Because their decent AT weapons are fairly expensive you won't have many, making getting rid of hardy targets a little difficult at times. Drills and Freeriders are your friends, and will see you through the most testing games.

Choice, And A Lot Of It

I think this is the best attribute of the Resistance, and it really makes the army special; there is just so much to choose from! The unit number may be the same as the other armies, but what you have is an army in which every option is a viable choice! They don't have a Thunderbird, Slayer, Scimitar or Taranis. Every single unit is decent, but balanced, and worth taking in the right army. The OB Team must have penned more than 20 lists between us, and each one was notably different. Choice is a gift that keeps on giving in wargames, and I find it highly unlikely that the Resistance will ever bore you.

These are of course my opinions and some people will disagree, possibly mostly with my outlook on troops. What would I say to those people? Write your own gawddamnedpost! Or you could just comment below...



  1. Thanks Zombiestate for this great preview of the Resistens!

    So enough babaling about how a list of the resistens would look like and there prows and cons and stuff... answer the real questions! What is the velosity speed of the lifthawk? And is it fair that the destoryers got bettre for the same amount of points... no seriosly don't answer that!

    There is some hot debates now on the hawk forum about tecnical details in rules that will ruin the game and so forth...

    But seeing you as the DzC gurus so far with the most experiens of the game I would say that reeding atleast between the lines is that this new fraktion will bring alot of new fun and thinking to the game. Wile still comming to the game really balanced and ready for a fair play!

    So please keep this blog going! Your doing alot for this game and that is really aprishiated. (Or how that is spelled) I will take you up on the "make your own gwaging blog" planing a podcast with Egge and Snolb, hoping for it to go well..

    Best regards Lord Falkstål

    1. I wouldn't worry about the new rules, the guys at Hawk have their heads twisted on tightly, and Dave especially wouldn't let anything 'beardy' slip through the cracks.

      I'm glad you're enjoying the blog buddy, and if your podcast is in English I'll be sure to check it out! (I'm stereotypically ignorant when it gomes to languages which aren't mine...)

    2. Hell yes to another podcast. Podcasts = painting stimulus. The more DZ podcasts out there the more painting I get done. God knows my PHR need it.

  2. I like sandworms! keep it up with the references. I must admit I have always demoed dzc as a game that doesn't ignore the basic rules that much which I _hate_ about 40k. For instance, bragging about DZC that you can't do the rhino-rush because embarking make your units very sensitive as you can't shoot. I'm kind of disappointed about this rule and I really, really hope that there will be no more units just ignoring the basic rules. Special rules are basically evil.

    Also, an horde army seems extremely good. You played it in a test game against (I'm assuming here) a good player with an army he's confident about and won the first time around. In my book that shown of an extremely good army. The second case is of course if your opponent is bad at the game or if the sandworm is way too good... I must ask; which is it? From what you wrote I feel that the army you played was boring to play for you and for your opponent but if you win someone is going to use it... Sounds negative - sorry - but I hope you understand what I mean.

    It's cool if there are no units that are to bad to use. Internal balance is one of the most important things, I would say.

    BTW; great writedown! Many thanks.

    1. The Hovercraft rule, in its weirdness, works well. Units will still only be shooting on turn 2 which is nothing unusual, and it is just a new mechanic to be aware off. It is a far cry from the rhino rush, trust me!

      Horde armies don't work for multiple reasons, but I'm not going to list them here. If people happen to get the models then it is probably worth trying, but it's really not that fun.

      The drill, as good as it is, is limited by the one in or out rule, and is only truly useful in objective games. Edchopp played well, I just happened to get a little lucky with an objective roll. If I had had a light dropship instead of the drill, I still would have won.

    2. Thank you for a good read!

      Maybe you are aware of the hot debate regarding Storm Wagons and the Hovercraft rule? Did you ever played that combination and if so, how did you played it? :)

      Cheers! /snolb

    3. I've had a quick skim through the discussion, and double checked both books, and believe you are correct. RAW, disembarking does not count as a move, and a model is placed on the table rather than moved from the transport (much like placing models on the table after a transport is destroyed). The Hovercraft rule supersedes the general disembark rule.

      This is clearly not how Hawk intended the mechanic to work though, so it will be very much up to gamers and TO's to decide how to play this best.

      This never came up in play testing; I only used the SW once, and the rules were a little less specific at that point!

    4. I'm not after to have the right answer just a aswer, but thank you! ;)


  3. But how can the Resistance not BORE me, when they have all those giant tunneling machines?

    (What? Look, at least it's a different joke than the Sandworm thing, and we all know that joke's about Dune.)

    1. Well played The Ben Freeman, well played.

      I'm not sure that's a joke a MINOR would understand though. (Minor, miner; some puns get lost in text...)

    2. Works on swedes because we don't care about spelling in english!

    3. Sluta gnäll, ska jag använda en översättare i framtiden för er ;)

      (I hope google translate is half as good as I think it is...)

  4. Great post as always mate! I'm a little miffed that something went awry with my Talon pre-order, so don't have my toys yet, but this article really makes me itch to get my resistance going :D

    1. You won't be disappointed, the book is seriously good. The background and artwork are simply stunning.

  5. Oh I have no doubts. I'm seriously looking forward to the fluff updates, as I'm hoping to dive back into writing again with some short stories. I have a few already outlined, just need to check 'facts' :)