Friday, 12 December 2014

The Conundrum of Resistance troops

As you may have gathered, I have been thinking a lot about troops in DzC recently. I've discussed CQB and how different squads can take it and dish it out. Today I want to talk about what you take in a typical 1500 point clash game, how it differs from faction to faction and person to person. 

Using the constraints of a 1500 clash army might sound a bit limiting, but it is the standard tournament points limit and also a game lasts about 2 - 2.5 hours which is ideal for a games club evening. 
Starting with the original 4 factions; between us in team OB we have the troops pretty much figured out. 

The staple was 4 squads; 3 of which were standard infantry 1 being Exotic (although I slightly tweaked this with my Scourge list by having 2 squads of Destroyers). All the infantry would be in light drop-ships to aid mobility and objective extraction. In a comparison, here is how many points each faction spend on their infantry (based on armies used regularly by us).

UCM: 3 Squads of Legionnaires in Ravens (240) 1 squad of Praetorians in Raven (124) 364
Scourge: 2 Squads of Warriors in Intruders (188) 2 squads of Destroyers in Intruders (260) 448
PHR: 3 squads of Immortals in Tritons (312) 1 squad of Sirens in Triton (132) 444
Shaltari: 3 squads of Braves (192) 1 Squad First Borns (96) 2 Spirits 3 Havens and an Eden (170) 458

So as you can see from that, The UCM spend a load less on the same amount of Infantry squads. You do need to bear in mind that they have absolutely no way of avoiding falling masonry and are extremely squishy. Basically you get what you pay for. This does mean that you get more points to spend on tanks! 

Obviously there are variances on the theme, ZombieState is currently running 2 warrior squads, 1 Aged one squad and 1 Destroyer squad in his Scourge (saves him 6 points). Sometimes Sgt. Slaughter drops a Triton for a Juno for 1 squad of Immortals to save some points. 

But what has this got to do with the Resistance? 

Well as you asked so nicely let me elaborate. The basic formula we have stuck to does not and can not apply to the Resistance. For starters, they don't have light drop-ships for their standard infantry. The MFR do, but that is an expensive choice (worth it but expensive). Also the way their Infantry battle group is set up (allowing Exotics and having 4 squads allowed) is wildly different from any other faction. 

The possibilities are almost endless, but what is/should be the standard set-up for the Resistance? I'll tell you what...I don't know. 

SkullSword is playing it this way at the moment; 2 squads of Resistance Fighters (2 bases in each squad), both in battle buses and sharing a Kraken. 2 squads of MFR in Ravens and 1 squad of Free Riders. That totals 536 points. It's expensive, brutal, reasonably quick but still suffers the same as the UCM when it comes to falling masonry and building damage. They are squishy. 

Some other set-ups I have pondered are along these lines:

2 Res Fighters BB, 2 Res Fighters BB, Kraken (164) 2 Res Fighters BB, 2 Res Fighters BB, Kraken (164) 2 Free Riders (70) 2 Free Riders (70) 
This totals 468 and gives me access to 6 squads, but no CQB hitting power.

3 Squads of Res Fighters in Jacksons sharing a Lifthawk (244) MFR in Raven (151) 2 Free riders(70) 
This load out totals 465 and gives me CQB hitting power. The problem with 3 squads in the Lifthawk is that they are all in the same area. You do get the added bonus of countermeasures though!

How about a bit of drive-by Occupation Vets? 
3 bases in a Battle Bus sharing a Kraken with some Res Fighters is 248 points add another Kraken with more resistance fighters and some Free Riders is 482 points

What about loads of Free Riders, go with Res Fighters in BB and Kraken, and have 4 squads of Free Riders, add a couple of drills for quick deployment and extraction that would be 544 including the 2 drills 

Am I thinking about Resistance infantry all wrong. The army plays very differently to all the others. Maybe it would work better with less squads but larger amount in each. 

I'll put it out to you guys and gals of the interweb. 
What do you use for your troop choices? What decides your criteria?

Later taters


  1. I have just started Resistance and only played 1000 point games with it. But my currently 1500 point list have three squads of fighters in Jacksons and Lifthawk and in the same Battlegroup is the Marines. In addition I have two squads of freeriders.

    I think it's great to have both troops and exotic in the same battlegroup when you search for objectives, if you are lucky you can snatch some objectives right in front of your opponent and head home with it.

    The Freeriders are their for some sneaky AT and will only get into buildings in Intel missions.

    But as I said I haven't played a 1500 point game yet with them. :)

  2. Every configuration of Resistance troops I've used works, and none of them notably better than any others. The individual strengths and weaknesses of the units are obviously consistent. I think its a strength of the design in Resistance that there is no obvious (or even not obvious) "best" setup, unless of course you know what you're fighting ahead of time. It would be nice to see the other factions get more Infantry choices to add variability there too.

  3. I think about using 3 squads of Fighters in Jackson + spider mines and 2 squads of free riders.
    The spider mines hopefully give me the advantage when it comes to CQB with other troops choices.

  4. Currently the infantry I'm rocking is 6 bases in Jacksons and Lifthawk with 4 bases of Freeriders in 2 separate squads. Personally have found the Freeriders to be best out in the open zooming around and generally causing havok while the fighters get carted from building to building. I have been toying with 2 bases of fighters + 2 bases of Vets in Battle bus as well

  5. When I was playtesting I would run 2 squads of fighters and 1 squad of vets in jacksons and lifthawk, 1 squad of MFR in Raven A and 1 squad of freeriders but that was just my version and as you say, I don't think there is a right way or a wrong way!

  6. The 'meta' of different Gaming groups always interests me.

    Yours seem to follow a very clear pattern of 3 basic squads and an exotic. Ours is all over the place. With only 5 players.

    Our only PHR player will often have only 3 squads of immortals and favours the Junos but likes building demo.
    One UCM player followers the air cav 3 + 1. But the other goes for more bases with 3 bases x2 in bears in a condor, 2 bases in a Raven and Praetorians in a Raven (which are sometimes traded for fireblades).
    The Shaltari player opts for 2 braves + 1 firstborn uniformly.
    Our scourge player loves infantry – often 3 bases of inf in APC’s with either 2 destroyer squads in light dropships or 1 squad of aged ones and 1 squad of Destroyers.

    In terms of tactics, unlike many gamers, it seems that manning all 4 walls of a building to stop all but praetorians and Destroyers from charging in is common. Interestingly only one UCM player ever fields flame weapons.
    Our PHR player often sluggs it out against basic inf in CQB and drops buildings he cant overwhelm with CQB. Manning walls and scanning with drones is also his thing.

    Sadly no one has resistance yet.

  7. I've only gotten 3 games in with my Resistance, and all of them were 1,500 pointers, but only one had Objectives (the other 2 were for table quarters). At the moment I only have the three squads of two bases of Resistance Fighters, and two squads of two bases of Freeriders.

    I picked up a second starter box on Black Friday, and have a blister of Battle Buses, Occupation Veterans and two Drills on order.

    After playing the first game, with objectives, I went back and reviewed the rules for all of the Infantry choices, plus some other units, like the BBs and the Drill. I decided that being able to take advantage of all of the Infantry's Subterranean rules (except the MFR, of course) was something I had under-considered originally. (Of course, originally I'd intended to get just what I needed for a 1,500 point Allied list, but as usual, I ended up wanting to expand after whetting my appetite on this new faction, so have once again put my marriage at risk by ordering far more units than the "original" plan called for! LOL!)

    It's a shame that, unless you take Jessie Adams in your army, Jacksons can't come out of or go into a Drill (Big Bertha, in Jessie's case). However, it occurred to me that with enough squads, if I pressed forwards with the Infantry and popped up a Drill or two between midfield and my opponent's backfield, the troops could still ride in a Jackson, floor it towards a Drill, and then the troops could disembark from a Jackson 3"), Mv 1", and then embark 3" into a Drill (presumably with an objective or two).

    What I came to realize is that Resistance plays completely differently from any of the other factions. They're like Shaltari in that regard, but totally different at the same time.

    Also, Freeriders are pretty amazing at zipping around the battlefield doing AT harassment duty. It's a waste to try to put them into a building, except to search for intel, perhaps. Agree on that point made above...

    Much more to learn with this new faction. I already have 2 squads of 2 bases of UCM Praetorians, with Raven A's, so at least one of them can do double duty as a squad of MFR. However, I don't think I'll be working those dudes into a 1,500 point list; they'll probably have to wait for higher points games, but as I don't play in tournaments and like higher points games in general, that shouldn't be a problem. Ha!...

    1. Oh, I should note that my Cyclones, Alexander and Hellhog are inbound from Miniature Market. So far I've been proxying Tritons for the Cyclones, a Helios for the Alexander (I know, nowhere near big enough, but I'm limited) and a spare Neptune for the Hellhog. UPS says the shipment should be here Tuesday by EOD, and my FLGS should get the BBs, Drills and Occupation Veterans in by then, too, so I should be able to play a proper Resistance force over the Christmas and New Years holiday weeks. Boo-Ya!

  8. Resistance infantry is a fascinating question. Many choices, so what is best?

    I toyed with the idea of infantry firing out of battle buses but I don't believe it works. You end up with very expensive, weak "tanks".

    I plan to try drills and quite a few Free Riders. I'm hoping I can escape with infantry through a drill once they find an objective, plus possibly emerge Free Riders from underground.

    There's a good thread on Hawk forums about Free Riders. I think they're overpowered right now and I expect they'll get adjusted in the future. They're usually no good inside buildings due to weakness in CQB but they seem to have become a premier AT unit and they are extremely resilient with E+3 CM, DF and A3.

    1. Hi Sword, we have seen the same problem with free riders too. They are the best AT unit in the game right now. I think they should have only 1 sticky bomb per base or change the bomb to E8 SC and focus 1, but be able to use as a squad rather than base.

  9. How do you get 3 bases of vets in a battlebus??

    1. You can have up to four my friend, the Battlebus accommodates from 2 - 4 bases of troops. This means you could have a whopping 8 bases in that Kraken, if your willing to pay the points of course...

  10. I thought it was either 2 or 4