Monday, 22 February 2016

Rediscovering Shenanigans

I want to take you all on a trip, a journey like none before! I want to tear through the fabric of reality, and smash down the walls of physics. I'm talking time travel, my friends! Come back into history with me, back to ye olde year of 2014. That's right, the year of Ebola and Scotland making a nationwide bad decision (not the decision to abolish the Irn Bru bottle offer, that was 2015. No, the less important referendum). So come this way, and jump into my home made Tardis- yes, on appearance it may look like an old garden bin, but rest assure the smell will send you back in time!

Back in 2014 I was having great successes with my obtusely yellow Shaltari, claiming two Invasion crowns and a Critical Engagement title too. Whilst surfing deftly on the turbulent wave of success, something happened. Something that as a gamer, playing a game for fun and not work, you never want to happen; I got bit by the Bordem Shark, cousin to the Karma Shark (who I also get bit by on a regular basis, such is the life of the compulsive bastard). I could've used a surf-board pun there, but I didn't want you all to get crabby. That's right, I went for the obscure crab pun instead... I stand by my choice.

I can understand if this comes across as arrogant, although it's not meant to be. It wasn't that I was bored of winning games (who gets bored of that?), the Shaltari had just become so uninteresting to field. I had always thought of the Hogs as being an intricate jigsaw puzzle, one that you had to set up and execute in perfect unison, or your opponent would come along with a pair of scissors and chop the knobly bits of your pieces. It was a puzzle that had, for myself, become a little too 'point and click'. At that stage in the game there was very little that would pose a real threat to the Shaltari you see, and the meta that existed then is now a thing of the past. High energy weapons (E11+) were sparse, unlike the dropzone of today which seems to have as many as there are nanobots ferrying a lazy Medusa around. The Shaltari were un-opposed in their manoeuvrability, and were also incredibly nippy when they needed to be. They didn't destroy things, they just got on with winning the mission.

Near the end of my time with Sonic's cosmic brothers the Dreamsnare was released, and with it the
final nail in the coffin for me. For a while the Shaltari Brick ran riot across the face of Dropzone, and playing with and against the Shaltari became a chore. I will note, I only used the Dreamsnare once in a practise game, and hated it as much as I thought I would. I have never made a Brick, nor do I ever intend too! Mike deftly highlighted how broken the tactic was by winning an Invasion with it (and of course, by other tactical means too, he would admit the Brick certainly helped though), and then the nerfing began. Months before the Great Hammer of Nerf fell though, I had moved to Scourge and was much happier for it!

Well hop back in my smelly, cramped time machine and fly back to the future with me, and Great Scott! The Shaltari are suddenly a challenge to play with again!

Mike has started an escalation campaign down our club, and I decided to switch back over to the Hogs, to try on my rose tinted goggles. Our first two games were TOO (three objectives) and three focal points respectively, using only the starter boxes, and I loved it! The gimmicks and twists which the Shaltari possess even shines though when using a meagre fifteen models, and all the shenanigans came flooding back to me.

Now I have remembered the basics, the next task in the campaign is to build a 750 Skirmish list for a three objective game, and a three focal point game. Now I don't know how many of you have made 750 point lists, but boy is this hard. Knowing that I could very well be facing a Medusa or even a Thunderstorm makes me want to take two Caimans. I don't want to be that guy, but I also don't want to be Thundered of the field...

Importantly though, and swinging back to my original point, I enjoyed the games I played. It was refreshing after the frustration of the Resistance at Invasion (that I'll save for another post!), and tugging on the slippers of shenanigans just felt so good. So there you go. I like Shaltari again. For now at least. This all said, in my heart I am still a host, and probably always will be...


  1. 750 Shaltari list building seems quite challenging, not sure about double Caimen for Military Complex, looking forward to seeing what people bring.

  2. Nothing wrong with taking a break from a race/team/ideology that gets stale, only to return again when it has freshened up.


  3. Welcome back. And yes... Shaltari are quite hard nowadays to wing high an big with. We'll watch you...

  4. Are you planning to use some of the new units like Ronins or Pungariii? Or are you going for the even newer units?

  5. I've never been an advocate of the demo game, and E9 isn't reliable enough for AT so I probably won't grab the Ronin. I will on the other hand be giving Pungari a go, I can see why the may be useful. The new Leopard looks like a lot of fun too.

    The Panther is still total bullshit.

    1. Intersitng. we seem to disagree once more but i'll be interested if you ccan change my perspective! I#d love the pungari if they weren't... well... just rubbish.
      leopard atm seems a bit pointless for me, panther will only be interesting when we know what he costs... it's like the ocelot: more of a mind war machine than a real threat.

    2. By bullshit, I mean the Panther is a unit that just shouldn't exist. It will be good, although depending on the cost it may not be worth it.

      The Pungaris are good at shooting Infantry and also are a bit of a tar pit in CQB against basic infantry.

      Their one real redeming feature is that they are just so cute!

    3. ah kk. then i'm more in line with your line of thought ^^ but i think with the amount of multi DP A6 flyers out there the panther is probably not so surprising an addition to the Shaltaari (who really struggle with these flyers) so i don#t think it shouldn't exist, it will work like an Ocelot: looking mean reeking of destruction an terror, but in the end beeing limited to 1 or 2 tricks... so besides shooting heavy skimmers and heavy aircraft for about 100+ points (assumed cost of Panther) there will not be much to do with it. Reactive fire is a bad idea for this guy (hitting on an 6... well nope...) and so the opponent has to allow you a clear shot. not a big deal in my book... agree on the pungari though! Please Dave give us a reason to field these ciddely critters!

  6. Noooo! Keep yourself pure, Dan!

    Oh, whatever. Some day my painted Shaltari will get delivered to me, and I'll have to give it a go. But no walkers for me, strictly skimmers! I'm of the "Need To Prove a Point" cut, myself, so will try to make things work with just skimmers and (a-hem!) a couple of flying Dragons... :-P

    Fun to read, as always, sir!

    1. Skimmers will not be a challenge. They are tough as nuts! Plus you will have access to Caimens!

    2. Yes, two of them. Paired up with Firedrakes. They were used against me once, and I recognized the synergy between them, and in taking two pairs...

      But that is all speculation at this point, for I know not when my friend will ever be finished painting my Shaltari (even tho he has already received his compensation -- many X-Wing models, two starter boxes, and a mat!)

      Oh, well. I'm not in any hurry to cross over into Hedgehod territory... :-P

  7. I am working on my Shaltari now as well. . . Though I am an oddity because I started DZC in the beginning of December and already own 2 full armies (painting in progress) and my Shaltari are about finished. I think I need another Jaguar, Caimen and some of the new things.

    I am looking to see what you do ZS.