Monday, 29 June 2015

A Time For Comparison

Some sides are balanced more equally than others ...
I can feel something in my head, swirling about the emptiness inside. Is it a thought? I'm not sure, but I think I'd probably recognise the taste. No, it's something more than that, something rarer. I think, no I know, it's an epiphany! I'm sure of it! I should write it down really, they come around so infrequently, but it's late and I can't be bothered. I'll just force Mini Dan to remember it, I don't care how much he moans.
My thoughts after my epiphany. As you can tell it's a complicated process inside my skull.

Scourge. This is the start of this realisation. It starts with Scourge, and more specifically the two tourneys I have entered with the army. I know my Scourge like they were a part of me (some of us take to the host more easily than others; call me Catesbreaker - that is one of the nichest jokes I have written...) and have had a great run with them. I know their weaknesses and strengths, and how to use them to their most brutal, and typically this shows. However, my last list used at the Expo and the trouble it gave me has made me think and reconsider the units. Each of my games was hard for various reasons, and I have to put this down to the build somewhat. I possibly should have lost a game or two in Burningham.

But I didn't. As it turned out I won all my games. In fact, I've won every single tournament game with my Scourge bar one, and that was against a Shaltari Brick list in Take and Extract which I'd lost before models where placed on the table. The result of the weekend made me look back to my time with Shaltari though, and the success I had with them. After eight games I have won and lost the same amount with Scourge as I had with my Shaltari, but had won both tournaments I entered instead of finishing 3rd and 5th. 

The question I find myself asking is why? Why the difference? Was it that I knew the Shaltari better than the Scourge? I wouldn't have said so, I've become one with my host over the last nine months. Is it because of a silly list choice? The list may have not been 'optimal', but it was still strong enough to win games, often comfortably, so I'm not so sure. Could it be the players or missions? Again I don't think so, I understand the game very well and from memory believe everything is pretty equal in regards to opponents and missions played (I understand this may sound big headed but I really don't mean it that way, I believe it is okay to have confidence in my ability). 

In my opinion it is down to the two armies in question, and the way they are forced to play to compete in missions, which is strangely normally a selling point of DzC.

There is a large amount of, well, let's not call it hate or annoyance, but more frustration amongst a large chunk of the community at the moment at how un-balanced the Shaltari are in comparison to the other races. I'm not going to dive into the mud-wrestle this topic has become (head to the forum or Mike's post here for that), but want to base a view merely on this opinion which has formed in my mind:

If all armies are currently balanced, shouldn't a player of equal skill with all armies be able to perform to an equal standard?

The answer right now is no. I'm not just talking about me, I believe that give almost any player Shaltari and make them understand their nuances and they will perform better than with their first army. I'm even beginning to think it isn't their gate shenanigans which give them the edge. I can beat Shaltari with my Scourge, because I know how to deal with gates and know the possibilities of where their units could deploy. It is removing the units that is the issue.

This picture just oozes metaphor
It's the same reason I knew I'd lost that Take and Extract mission before we even rolled a dice - I just couldn't kill enough. Shaltari simply don't die, which is wrong for the way they are represented in the fluff! As a Spacehog player you can afford to be cavalier with units in the knowledge that the odds are on your side. With Lady Luck polishing your dice you could literally not lose a unit (very unlikely yes, but not impossible).

I'm going to go out on a limb here, and say that I like the gate mechanic. I think it's awesome and thematic, and without really going to town on the rules it can't be changed. A tweak simply wouldn't work, it would require a gutting of not only the Shaltari rules but the actual game rules for deployment. No, I'm going to suggest something different. Something needs to change to make a Hedgehog feel as cautious about a unit of Tomahawks deploying into open ground as I do with Hunters. Jaguars are hulking brutes, but should be wary of a unit of Type-2s lurking around a corner. I'm suggesting something the maths wizards will enjoy playing with...

Keep the points the same and drop the passive save by 1 on every Shaltari unit (to a min of 6). 

This would immediately make a Shaltari player more cautious! You would have to take risks, which isn't really a word in the Shaltari language right now. Can you risk your wounded Coyote against six E10 shots from Destroyers with only a P5? Can your Eden gate run the gauntlet past a couple of Phobos? Every single other race has to make these decisions at the moment, and this would certainly shake things up. Bringing down the survivability of important units like gates could see Shaltari being forced to commit units to the warzone sooner, as the risk of losing a gate late on may be too great. Mad dash fling manoeuvres in the fifth and sixth turns could be dangerous; what if your Eden doesn't make it to that FP, and you can't ping your Ghariel 40" across the board? It may seem like a drastic change, but we need one right now! 

All my spiney friends, I can see you shaking your heads at me, but remember, you will always have your shenanigans and that's what makes you you! It's what makes the Shaltari that cryptic puzzle, which slots perfectly together as soon as you figure out where to put all those damn identical grass pieces. The gate mechanic alone is game winning, but being indestructible at the same time is pure madness! There has to be drawbacks to every race to even the system out, and as it stands you just don't have any of worth, no matter how hard you argue and reason.

As things stand, the puzzle pieces which form the Shaltari are made from stone, and they should be made from cardboard. The knowledge that a glass of water could spill, and cause your best laid plans to warp and turn to mush should be a constant threat. In order for this to happen, change is needed, and I'm not for a second indicating that Hawk should use my suggestion, but it is an issue that needs to be addressed.

Will it?

Here's hoping. 


  1. Very interesting. I have heard other players argue for the same thing. It would most likely give the result you are arguing for. It would make the Tomahawk the most sensitive basic "tank" among the factions.

    However, I would argue for a restriction on the gates. A rule where it says you must activate one flying gate per activation would give Shaltari a very flexible mechanic as long as i is done early in the activations and loosing a gate or two will hurt them a lot when you consider the last few turns. It would give the the advantage of mobility but the disadvantage of "showing their hand".

    Still. Driving on, infantry are not considered inside when considering disembarks and being able to activate something that does not start or end it's turn on table (change of basic rules) are something I should be changed even with the suggestion in the blog post or my suggestion. It just feels...strange that the Shaltari can drive on and decrease the dependence on gates in a way that makes no sense.

    Good and interesting post.

  2. hm.. not sure how i feel about this. Not b/c i disagree w/ it, but more b/c i've had this thought and posted it:

    regardless, it would be interesting. Though I dunno how many Shaltari trust in their passive save as much as stated here. Exception being the brick.

    Thanks for another post, we'll see what Hawk does

  3. If the passive save was 4+ on most units vs 5+, I'd agree. 6+ isn't worth much and coupled w/ A7 or A9.
    Maybe Give them E+1 and all passives reduced by 1. Shame Tari are supposed to have the SWEET energy shields, but then again the game that cannot be named has Super Human Slayers that die in droves, when Fluff counters that.

    Or you just want too boost the sales of "nightmare snares" ;)-.


  4. Yes, Dan, yes!!! This is it!!! Very eloquently put. (Interesting metaphor in that last full paragraph, too...)

    This is the point that we have been discussing amongst my friends, at least those who are willing to risk losing some games with their Shaltari, or don't play them at all. ;)

    I fear that the general Shaltari population will call for you to be tarred and feathered (which, actually, you might enjoy... Hmmmm...), but it needs to be addressed. As I said on the forum, somewhat tongue-in-cheek as I'm working through my own nicotine addiction issues, that the first step in recovery is admitting there is a problem.

    "Hi, I'm Bob."
    "Hi, Bob."
    "And I play Shaltari competitively because I know the army will most likely win the event for me..."

    I don't want to venture into the territory of what The Group's response might be to that... :-P

    For the record, I have no problem with the gate mechanic. I think the real problem, the one that's been lurking beneath the surface and pushing Gates into the limelight to take all the blame, is the army-wide P5+ save, which is better on commanders, and can be made better for a lot of units by including at least one Dreamsnare. It's just too good! And I like how you phrased it, as "reduce all Passive saves by 1, to a minimum of 6".

    I played a game vs Shaltari this past Saturday, and despite having a Dreamsnare, my opponent failed more Passive saves than I've seen anyone fail, and more than "average", and because of this I was able to squeak out a victory.

    It's the Passive saves, guys! They're just too good across the board...

    Luhansk you, Dan, for putting it out there...


    1. "Luhansk"? Is that even a word??? For some reason my iPad thinks it is...

      Thank you, Dan, is what I was trying to say... >_<

  5. Naah, don't agree with them losing a point of passive save, though it would certainly work to overall bring the balance of the faction to where it needs to be IMHO.

    They are medium durability, proven by mathematical analysis. And to me, that suits that them because they have advanced technology. I very much want the game background to be represented on the tabletop. It makes the game more immersive IMHO.

    On that basis, I reckon that an energy shield which gives a 5+ save is fine as is.

    I would like to see the idea on the forum of Shaltari declaring what is 'drive on' during list creation. Plus a change to their infantry to make them a bit more vulnerable to falling masonry as recently posted on the forum by Lorn.

    To me, that would tweak them and help their game balance without affecting their core specialities like having shields.

    I'm unsure if it would be enough to make Shaltari equal to the other factions but it would certainly be the kind of conservative tweak that Hawk might run with.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your experience, Zombiestate.

  6. There was alwas going to be a small amount of contention with this post, and thank you for the comments. In my opinion, the survivability of the Shaltari is taken for granted by most players, rather than a tactic they aim to take advantage

    I'm not sure how electing drive on units pre-game will change anything. I usually had a general plan which I stuck to no matter the mission, and forcing players to always have their caimans drive wouldn't make any difference at all, as they were always going to do this. Other fixes suggested just seem so fiddly, although I do agree with some (not driving on and troops counting as being in a transport for instance). I'm not saying 'mine is better than yours' btw, just my opinions.

    One thing I didn't bring up in the post was the variety of depth in units Hawk have awarded the Shaltari. This is also an issue; units like the Ronin make me worry for the future.

    I shall prepare myself for my 'punishment', bring out the tar and feathers. I'm going to look like an Albatross!

    1. My reservation to changing the passive save (only) is that I want them to have a special rule -disadvantage from all their special rule advantages. Not being able to fly within 4" is not because they have a gate mechanic but because the gates have AA. So a distinct disadvantage would be really interesting.

      Decreasing the passive save is a good way to nerf the Shaltari and I do think it will work. It is just that I feel they need a downside within their special rules. Hence the "Must activate one flying gate each activation" rule together with no drive on capability would in my mind help and nerf as well as give them a restriction in their game play as well as making them wince whenever they loose a gate.

      But I would also like to point out that this is not a bad idea with the passive save. It will do exactly what you say and hope it would do.


    2. I think the Passive save reduction is all that's really needed, and as Dan said, a lot of the other suggestions that have been floating about just seem too "fiddly".

      I'm about to have a fair amount of free time on my hands (*weep*) so I'm going to suggest to a few Shaltari players in my meta that after this upcoming July 11th tournament we try a series of games where we try out this proposed reduction. (Notice I didn't call it a "nerf". Oh, crap, just did! :-P). Set it up so that we can collect a number of data points by limiting the other variables, y'know, like a real experiment. If we can do this, it will take some time, but I'll try to collect some objective results and post them on the forum... I'm thinking it'll take up to 2 months, give or take...

    3. Bummer on the lay off. Hopefully you got a great exit package. I've been on that train before:(

    4. Thanks.

      I got a good package. Not great, but it should be enough. Kinda in the doldrums, tho...

  7. It's an interesting idea to reduce the save by one point. It would actually go a long way to making them the fragile wall flowers that some players might think they are.

    It just seems like quite a strong step to take.

    I believe some Shaltari units just aren't costed right. Also, the faction gets everything, every capability, and thus has no weak point. I suppose if those won't be addressed, and gentle tweaks won't bring the faction into line, something more radical like this idea could do it.

  8. I wonder. I know that I have a tendency to hide as !any of my units as I can behind buildings, around corners, or in the air. This applies to Shaltari, PHR, and UCM. I don't trust dice. Ever. The only unit I ever leave out in the open willingly is the Hades, which has come back to bite me when I'm not careful.

    My point is, I agree with your assessment, that the Shaltari are not all that fragile. One of the issues is that the offensive ability of the Shaltari has been steadily increasing. They now have three different E12 attacks (which all have a short range, and I think that is a good thing). In the original release, the Shaltari and the UCM both had high durability and relatively weak firepower. A lot of new UCM units are lacking in the durability (Katana, Eagle, and Ferrum) while they add variety to the UCM arsenal. The new Shaltari releases increase the durability and increase the offense power of the Shaltari. Maybe the save is the way to go. It is a hard pill to swallow and battlestriders will become next to worthless, but it is something to consider.

    1. I don't think Warstriders will become "next to worthless" if this "debuff" were to be implemented (see my story below about Scourge vs Shaltari brick). It will make them a tad less durable, but at 4 DP apiece, they're still pretty durable, since they're still 100% effective at just 1 DP left. And if that encourages Shaltari players to go back to using more skimmers, is that such a bad thing? (It's kinda like CSM Helldrakes were in 40K 6th Edition, the brick, I mean. I used to run 2 Helldrakes at 2,000 and even 1,850 points, but near the end of 6th would limit myself to just 1 to give myself more of a challenge, and I never even owned 3 of them, and never took more than 1 at 1,750 or less... I see the brick as the same kind of "crutch" for Shaltari players, and it's good to play without the crutches to make sure you're winning on your generalship more and less on the strength of the units you're taking. Having said that, one of our leading Shaltari player never takes a Dreamsnare, but he's more the exception than the rule..,)

    2. Battlestriders, tarantulas and birdeaters. They are already on the edge of too fragile in my opinion, but with a one in six chance to save, I don't think they'll stand up to any fire at all.

      The brick should be easy enough to outmaneuver though. I think too many players give in to the desire to draw and line in the sand and start shooting at each other. The brick can be tough to move anywhere useful if you don't bring a Gaia or two, and no one I play with uses them. Even at 2000.

    3. Gaias in my meta...

      And I think we've already discussed that you fellas in the East Bay tend to play with more buildings than we do in East Phoenix. It's rare that I've got more than 15 buildings on a 4'X4'. My Scourge buddy knows how to hid his Hunters and pounce, then scoot back into cover.

      And I've had a helluva time vs Tarantulas, especially as a PHR player.

      To me, the P5+ across the board is the toughest nut to crack. We take plenty of AA, too, and know to target the gates, but when you're facing P5+ and P4+ saves across the board, and E10 shots at 2+ Acc from Jags and Tomahawks vs A9 Type 1s & Nemesis, things are a bit out of whack...

      We've got a tournament this Saturday, and at this point it's shaping up to be 3 Shaltari, 2 UCM and 1 Scourge, and the Scourge player is my "ringer" and not used to facing hedgehogs. One of the Shaltari generals might switch to PHR, he's undecided (somewhat), so it'll be interesting to see how things shake out...

  9. If the save were reduced by one overall, but the Dreamsnare was weaponized (like the Totem, meaning it wouldn't be effective until a turn after it was dropped) and dropped the save down by two, I might actually pull the dusty model out of its case and use it!

    1. I'm confused... Doesn't the Dreamsnare have a pretty effective weapon? (Although it's more anti-infantry, but doesn't it have a "concentrated" shot variant?). And i thought the Totem could shoot on the turn it materialized/dematerialized, or am I not remembering that right?...

      Even with the points increase, I think the Dreamsnare is a very effective unit. It's certainly annoying to face, and soaks up a lot of shooting, which means I'm not shooting at other stuff that can shoot back at me... And it's effect is unlimited, unlike a shooting Amtrak; by that I mean, for example, In my last game vs Shaltari, there was a point in the game where the DS was buffing a squad of 9 Tomahawks and an Eden gate, and could have then been gated over to buff a Gharial, 2 Jags and a Haven and a Spirit and an Eden, all at the same time. Yes, I coukdve changed my target priority and shot at the second group first, and then that "double whammy" wouldn't have been possible/as effective in the same turn, but I had to deal with that first group, and for once got lucky and took out the DS, and my opponent got equally unlucky with his P4+ saves on it...

      Anyway, point being, it can buff two different groups in the same turn by being near one group early, then gate over to another cluster on its activation and buff them, and it only means it can't shoot to do it (and the gates need to be available, of course), but it's still a pretty powerful ability...

  10. I find this an exciting proposal, Zombiestate. I will try it out, even though I do not like it. :) Sure the dice could smile upon oneself but it cannot be trusted. I also do not believe that Shaltari are suppose to be fragile, they are high-Tec with energy shields. I am trying out playing a without allowing myself to walk-on, together with some more tweaks regarding the gates and a point increase of the Caiman to perhaps a 100 or 105 points.

  11. been thinking on this, and how it would actually translate to the table. Any Shaltari that really want that 5+ save could just purchase another Dreamsnare, not that I think it's the wisest choice, but if a 5+ save is a problem now, you could still face off against a mostly 5+ save army.

    Assuming someone doesn't try to compensate the nerf like that, Shaltari will probably hide more than already. People are already annoyed playing them partly for this reason, so reducing the save will exacerbate this.

    At the end of the article there is a bit of alluding towards where this issue gets highlighted, which is the big T6 jump and how Shaltari can put heavy point pieces on FPs with little to fear. As it is, I try to set up for this by limiting the firepower coming in towards the gate and the unit dematerialized. A worse save would help, but that assumes my opponent still have enough shots in position to do anything about it. Feels like if you let the Shaltari make this play, you may of already failed on principle.

    Another idea would be to leave the saves as is, but the save is not active on any unit that has made a materialize/dematerialize action this turn. Any unit that takes a save, may not later materialize/dematerialize. I think if we can handle the skimmer rule, we should be able to handle this. It has a fluff reason, shields don't react well w/ the charged atmosphere. Gives the Shaltari gates a drawback (<3 Egge) as the shields of the gate and units involved are down so only that armor left. Hurts the Haven. Shaltari still tough once deployed, but the gate shenanigans are more a of a double edged sword and hurts that T6 game winner that rubs people the wrong way.

    1. That's a good idea.

      If that is the issue though, what about extending the range of the hot lz for units on focal points? Make it 6 inches away so that players could cover the focal point more effectively?

      Or have the focal point score more than once at the end of the game? I've tried doing that twice now (objectives have to count for more points to make sure that they are not trivial) but it leads to a slugfest in the middle of the table, which the Scourge are best at. Shaltari are better than they have been, with the Gharial, but I dare you to drop a brick in the exact place that 9 hunters will be next turn and come out on top.

    2. I like Crisp Mini's idea (although I like the 1 reduction better). My first thought was, "more bookkeeping", but then I thought about one of my recent games, when my 2 Triton A2s and 2 of the Drones they had been carrying went To The Deck, and my opponent had a set of new counters from Litko that he let me use, and that settled that pretty quickly.

      I like the restriction on materialize/dematerialize if shields were used in the same turn, and vice versa. It's kinda like the Star Trek "rule" that a cloaked ship cannot fire it's weapons; provides a bit of balance... Hmmm...

      @Kyle: In our last tournament our Scourge player put 15 plasma shots into a Shaltari brick (actually, a single Jaguar, IIRC) and killed nothing, so many 4+ saves were rolled! Not sure if that was just "shots" or actual "hits", need to double check on that, but that's where we started discussing the need to reduce the Shaltari Passive saves by 1 across the board. That brick then shot the hell out of the assembled Scourge, and the Scourge player never recovered from the loss of his firepower. So I'm not sure the threat of just 9 Hunters is enough to dissuade that Shaltari player from putting his brick out there. (In fact, most of the Shaltari I've faced don't hide any more than any Scourge, which is to say, both them and I get to shoot and get shot at plenty... And these are all very accomplished Shaltari players, with 2 Firsts and 3 Seconds between 3 of them...

    3. 15 shots. Wow. That has too be some pretty outstanding rolling on the saves. Realistically, after saves, at least 6 or 7 should have hit, meaning somewhere around 10 damage points if those shots were spread out. Adding another die into the mix always mixes things up and increases the variance though. I've played games where my tomahawks took dozens of hits before being wiped. I've also played games where a whole squad has been taken out by one template or volly of fire.

      Maybe the save should just reduce the energy of the incoming attack. Or the defender gets to cancel one out of three shots. Then the variance can be taken out entirely. Or the shields could be treated as a dp that soaks a hit, even one that doubles up, and recharges when the unit activates.

    4. Yeah, the kid can really pull out saves when he has to. I'm starting to wonder about his dice... LOL. Then again, with my Plague Marines, I could usually count on failing a 3+ armor save, but making most of my 5+ Feel No Pain rolls... Go figure... 8^D

      I think keeping it simple and just increasing all Shaltari Passive saves by 1 (so a P5+ becomes a P6+, etc) is as good a place to start as any. Beyond that, it starts to get complicated, and require a lot more bookkeeping. But, I'm not a games developer (but I know several!), so hopefully Dave and or Simon are reading this here blog (which, I'm pretty sure they are) and they'll take some of these ideas, and the arguments behind them, into consideration... :-)

    5. I really liked the idea. I think it does what Crisp Mini wants it to do. But still. I'm a bit reserved that it might be a bit too easy to forget what have a save this turn and what does not. As DZC is a great game the main "downside" is the vast amount of information regarding activation that you need to remember and this I fear would add a bit more.

      I'm also a bit sceptical if Shaltari will have any problem to take the T6 focal points. DZC has so much terrain I don't think there is a problem to just hide them.

      So in the end I think I would like to see the T1 restriction of gate usage (must activate 1 each activation - though I would change it that the gate must end or start it's turn on table to be activated and that it must be flying gates). That means you need plenty of gates and the tactic "shoot the gates" which is normally the same as suggestion "kill all enemies" that so many people think is the main thing to hurt the Shaltari (they are the most resilient army against the "shot the transport" tactics of all the factions) is actually valid. Taking down the flying gates will restrict on the big movement but the Shaltari player can still use havens in their last activations.


    6. Eric, what you're suggesting will require about as much bookkeeping as Chris' idea, but only really for the Shaltari player instead of both players. It's not that I don't understand or agree with your angle, but it is so fiddly in a very streamline game. I dont want to wait for 10 minutes each turn whilst my opponent figures out how to bypass this rule with gate manipulation.

    7. I'm not sure on how you mean regarding book keeping with my suggestion. You need to activate 1 flying gate with each activation. So in the end you just need to keep track so you don't activate a gate twice which you already do. Perhaps you mean it will take much more time for the opponent to plan? Maybe...but I disagree that is a problem because it is the player's job to keep up a good pace. Shaltari should be hard pressed to plan an entire turn which they are not today. I think people would adapt pretty fast.

      Or did I misunderstand? It is not like I have proven myself to be an able reader of the English language (Recon & Encroachment!) :-)

  12. I love this community; I'm not sure where else I would expect such great feedback and a sense of respect for others opinions! As I noted I'm not sure if dropping the save by 1 is the way to go, but just that a drastic change needs to be made to bring the hogs back into line. I like Chris' shield and gate idea (or how I'm going to refer to it from now on, the Shake & Gate). I would point out that adding a Dreamsnare doesn't simply counteract a drop in shield, as it can severely limit your positioning and manoeuvrability in the warzone. Besides, you would have to spend the points to fit it in the list, which would remove another Caiman...

  13. The problem I foresee with losing passive if you gate, is that if doubly affects skimmers, as they lose skimmer bonus and shields. It makes them so fragile that 1 of 2 things will happen.
    1. You won't see them played
    2. They will never gate, they will drive on, with out fail, because at least they will have a passive save
    I'd like to try out both ideas with my Shaltari, see how it goes

    1. Passive save is also one of those "gimmics" I consider is part of the Shaltari together with unbound transports and gates. It might feel like pointless thing if decreased...


  14. Ya, adding a dreamsnare is a derp idea, but part of the issue isn't the save at all. I am nervous about these simple one size fits all "fixes" (quotes not disrespect, but just that one person's fix is another's breaking point).

    How often do skimmers gate as is? seems like only when they can be gated out of LoS with the exception being that T6 game winner, and when I do this I love to keep that Raise Shields card I drew T1 for this play. Gharial lost it's skim bonus, it's ok it has a 2+ save. Not that a card is reliable, but it is the ultimate dickery I've found, gating that commander and playing that card.

    Changing everything to 6+ (5+ for commanders and D'Snare) means that you hurt the non skimmers more than the skimmers. With the exception of the brick, the survivability issue is mostly brought up when the skimmer bonus and shield combine together. It's why I thought maybe a mix of saves would be better, than a one size fits all. If it walks, it is slower, but more energy is put into those shields, so 5+, but if it doesn't touch the ground, it's faster and more energy is for keeping it up, so a 6+. That would be all skimmers, gates, F'Drake, T'Bird, and warspear. Unfortunately, not all these units really need this treatment, but this keeps it consistent.

    I still think the bigger culprit is deficiences in the other factions of the original 4. Resistance are the newest and most fleshed out, and to me are the example of what Hawk wants all factions to become. When I play them I do not feel the power difference that I do playing aginst the other 3 factions. My favorite matches are always vs Resistance or other Shaltari. Shaltari have received lots of good units, and don't need much else until the others are caught up. I know this gets labeled as power creep, but this game is young and expanding, change is inevitable, not to mention slated.

    Looking at 1 destroyed gate vs 1 destroyed dropship in a vacuum is much different to the same comparison in the context of a game. Gates are a huge crutch the Shaltari gimp to victory on, shooting the right gate down at the right time is much more devastating than a dropship as often the Shaltari general is banking all his chips on that play. The other factions need ways to either reach out from hiding [from Caiman] to drop these gates like Gun Wagons and Technicals, or just more AA in general, which the Resistance also can sprinkle around their force. I'm crossing my fingers the Medusa, the Vampire, the AA team, Valkyries, may be able to do these things.

    To sum up, when I play my Shaltari against UCM, Scourge, and PHR I feel I can play around my opponent much easier than when against Shaltari or Resistance. The Shaltari can match me (obviously), and the Resistance has AA everywhere, and very mobile AA that can hide, come out from behind a building, go around it, and hit the gate hiding on the other side (which means I can't put my gates there in the first place).

  15. That seems like a much more elegant solution. I agree though, that the other factions are going to catch up. Volume of shots is key when facing Shaltari, and the PHR have started to get there with the Helios. If the Immortal snipers could shoot at different targets, then they would be much better.

    The UCM have gotten the Katanas, which are very effective against Shaltari skimmers, and only slightly less effective against the Warstriders.

    The Scourge have the AA walkers (ravagers?) which are slow, meaning they don't have a great threat range.

    I absolutely agree with you assessment of the Resistance. They have tools that no one else does, which gives them a lot of board control. I wonder if having drop pods for the UCM and PHR, or a tunneling option for the Scourge would give the factions the mobility they need to be competitive.

  16. So Zombiestate, you have to persuade Dave to make some adjustment. I know, next time you see him, threaten to give him a kiss like in your photos... that will break his will! LOL :) :) :)

    1. Believe me, as a team we've been trying for a while now but he's a stubborn individual! I'll give him more than a kiss- I know how to make the boys talk ;)