Thursday, 4 December 2014

The Fun Has Finally Started

Believe it or not, this rush did one point of damage that turn

Readers of my last Scourge related post may remember the struggles I have been having with the wibbly jelly men. The change over from Shaltari has been choppy and a little hard to swallow at times (much like swimming with an open mouth in the Thames).

It is good news this time around though, as I am finally getting the hang of them! I have made a few tweaks to list the list, one of which is dropping in a Despoiler (I'll talk about this bad boy of violence in a bit), and the army as a whole plays much more smoothly. When I say smoothly, I mean as smooth as a hammer to the face- it packs punch in abundance.

I have embedded the list I am currently using. As you can see, I have kept my minimum number of sixteen
Prowlers, but have added a ton more AT. The six Hunters and two Reavers kick serious booty, and the Prowlers and Intruders mop up anything that remains. A cheeky tactic with the Prowlers that I have found to work, is that if you can surround a unit it can't walk/drive/scuttle away and also the Hot LZ rule restricts the adjoining dropship whisking the unit away. Doing this also restricts blast weapons, as a template cannot be originally placed so that it touches a friendly model. I have split them into four squads due to unit coherency, and the issues which turn up if only one dropship is shot down in a squad of two. To explain a little more thoroughly, if you have a unit of eight Prowlers in two Intruders and one Intruder is shot down, leaving between one and four Prowlers on the floor, the other Intruder containing the remaining half of the squad cannot leave coherency with those on the floor. This rules has screwed me over a few times after losing one dropship, and the whole unit being stuck in no-mans land until a Call For Extraction is drawn. Although having four squads means cards like Aggression are less optimised, it really opens up the manoeuvrability of the army.

Taking a Despoiler has changed the way the whole army deploys, and although I am normally against the bigger dropships this beast is certainly worth taking. It can be a tad vulnerable at A5 and 5DP, but it makes up for this with its move of 18”. This means on turn two you can have your Hunters up to 34” into the table. Scary, right? It also has a two-shot E11 gun with Demolisher 2. So far in two games with PHR, my Despoiler has destroyed an Ares, an Odin, two Phobos and a Helios. Although it is pricey, in this particular list it works a treat.

The one unit that continues to let me down though is sadly the only auto-include in the army; the Desolator. It's just pants. I'm not sure if it is simply bad dice or not, but whenever I get it into a useful position it just seems to do nothing. The best it has ever done is finish of a half-wounded Jaguar. As it is so unreliable I have no idea where it will be best used half the time; do I fly it into the midsts of my opponents army where it could do serious damage (but probably won't) and then suffer it being destroyed by mass AA fire, or do I leave it on the outskirts, doing mad damage to buildings? The Ion Storm weapon is a little lost on this army, as I have so many ground units I am as likely to destroy myself as the enemy! As an HQ choice I find it as weak as it is unreliable (all the other HQ choices have a focussed mission statement, and a solid way to use them), and also that in all bar one mission it can't take focal points which is huge! All in all, roll on February for the new commanders.

As well as enjoying the list I am having much more luck with results too! However...

Sometimes rolling for objectives makes me want to cheat on my dice with other dice right in front of their faces (all six of them), and afterwards when they are feeling depressed use them once more to re-kindle hope, and then give them to a dirty junkie somewhere to use for weird drug induced sex games.

To give reference to this, over the first couple of games with this list it took me 14 attempts to find one objective. Now you understand? Excellent, moving on...

I have had a couple of good results against PHR, as once their AA is down there is little to halt my advance. I am able to get the jump on units like the Odin with my Prowlers, and with 16 E11 attacks you are pretty odds on to get your kills. I haven't played Scourge yet (which is going to be really tricky due to my lack of AA) or UCM (I play Hawk Simon on Tuesday, so we will see how that goes! My army should be pretty efficient at killing his standard tanks though), so I look forward to testing it's mettle against them.

Need more crabs!
The Shaltari and Resistance are going to be my boogey armies I believe. The Shaltari have a lot of AA as standard (due to Jags), and it is super efficient at taking down flying units with A5 (which happens to be more or less everything). Also breaking the Shaltari brick is normally difficult, so doing it without your full compliment of Prowlers (as Intruders, being A5, become porous on the way in and become reliably un-aerodynamic) and having to get first activation or face losing all your Hunters, is, well, tricky and partially impossible to plan for. The Resistance are crack shots, so whatever they shoot at explodes in the air. On the ground less so, but the amount of Hunters I have lost to Skullswords E9 Kraken shots... (They hit on 5+, and he destroyed four Hunters out of four shots in our first game) In fairness this is an anomaly, but they still have an abundance of low energy shots, perfect for taking out (you guessed it) Prowlers.

On the infantry side of things, I have a little bit of an issue with taking out Exotics. I needed ten more points to squeeze in another squad of Destroyers, but sadly the points just aren't there to use. Although Aged Ones provide a handful of dice in the first round of CQB, they die like Warriors, which is to say, fighting them is like stamping on Ants in a playground. This is something I will get around though, through the trained arts of cheating, lying, and deceitfulness. Or maybe I'll just try the more broadly accepted initiative, tactics and card shenanigans.

Not long until Invasion now anyway, so I better get the games in with Mega Mike and Skullsword, even if it does mean I whine like little bitch about losing for the entirety of January. But at the end of the day, why do we fall Bruce...


  1. Why not use the Annihilator instead of the Desolator (I don't have my book with me-so no idea if it fits point-wise) It breaks up blocks nicely, hits stuff behind buildings, shoots from behind cover, is a great area denial tool and generally a lot of fun and since you have tons of scouts - it should work well with a commander.
    Probably not the best choice against Simon (cause he knows it in and out) but still better that the Desolator...

    1. The Annihilator isn't a command choice. Only the Desolater is. At Clash level you have to have 1 (no more, no less) command choice. Also the Annihilator doesn't play so well with Prowlers.