Friday, 29 April 2016

I Don't Think You're Ready For My Jelly

Well, that was exactly what the doctor prescribed. This post is written on the back of returning from Coastal Assault, a one day, three game, 1500 point event (held before the recent releases), and it has really got my Zone juices flowing again. I was back to playing my electric Scourge, and letting my parasite back in was like waking up from a Resistance nightmare! Welcome home, old friend. It looks a bit like Venom or Carnage. I call it Narcissist, and it's bright pink.

I can say in confidence that most lists were tweaked from their normal format, as the missions were (I think probably accidentally) very Infantry biased. We played Bunker Assault, Military Complex and Ground Control in that order. A note to Michael, the Talon who arranged the event; You're an evil man for having Ground Control as the last mission! With that in mind, my original secret list was to bring two units of Destroyers, two Eviscerators and one Warrior squad. After the realisation that I didn't have enough Intruder Alphas and would have to buy and paint some as well paint more Eviscerators, that plan went down the crapper and instead I submitted something very old school.

Here is my super secret list;

A Desolator, right?! Queen Squid! The Bunkaltor! After all my years of slating the glorified weather machine, why on Earth would I bring one to a tournament?! A couple of reasons really. Firstly, as much as I love the Oppressor, and as good as it truly should be, there are now too many units which make it a liability. Scout ATVs, Thunderstorms and Medusa are big ones, but Hazard Suits are a nightmare and even Freeriders can be a deadly irritation. As things stood, before the insertion of units like the Monitor, there was nothing in our roster that can effectively deal with these hard infantry units. Even with Monitors hitting the table I just see the Oppressor as a pot of gold scuttling about on crab legs, ready for my opponent to plunder.

Secondly, I am Zen with the position in which Scourge currently lie. I've moaned and whined and bitched about it, and I will of course continue to do so (as I am a moany, whiny bitch after all), but I have gotten over my frustrations and just accepted my Jellys for what they are; the most fun race to play with! Sure, I'm not going to win any tournaments any time soon (although you never know with the Coruptor and Monitors having been released), but I have nothing to prove, and I want to have the most fun that with the game that I possibly can.

So how did Queen Squid perform? Underwhelming, as to be expected, but not having played with it since it could score focal points was exciting! Hide for four turns (I played one game against six Reapers, and another versus four Helios and two Phobos...) and then wibble over to a focal point to act as a points dump for turns 5 and 6! It is also cheaper than the Oppressor by a ton (60 points minimum, including Harbinger without Arc Castor) which enabled me to take a Despoiler armed with twin plasmas to transport my Hunters and Reapers. And boy, did I miss this big boy. It killed two tanks on average a game, and helped turn a Ferrum into molten slag. As good as Hunters are, I just can't look past taking them without a Despoiler. It is the ultimate creeping death manoeuvre; eight E11 shots, whizzing around with a MF 9". So. Much. Fun.

Perhaps it was using this older list or maybe just the three great games I had that have stoked my fires again. My first game was effectively a slapping match between myself and Nathan, my opponent playing UCM. Neither of us could roll any kind of decent dice, although Jink & Weave on my Hunters for three turns in a row sure didn't help him. The second was the tensest Military Complex I've ever played, against a chap named Amit, also playing Scourge. This game ended with his Destroyers holding on objective in the open (afraid of their building crashing around them) and dying on the last activation of turn five, enabling me to nab the objective in the first activation of turn six and keep hold of it by the skin of my host. The last game was against our very own Ed, and the ultimate PHR anti-Scourge list of doom. This turned into a game of chess, and I only failed to draw the game by a single VP (not mission points; we get 1500 points to spend on an army, right? Literally one of those)! Each of these games were totally different and completely enthralling in their own right. The back and forth, the constant stress, the knowing that you're never quite out of trouble; this is Dropzone at its finest!

There is a dark shadow behind all this joy unfortunately. There was a time in Dropzone, probably back when I last used the Despoiler, when there were no real bad match ups. Any (sensible) list that was fielded could be out thought and beaten by any opposing faction. On hearing that I had been drawn against Ed, I knew the best I could hope to achieve was a draw, and even that was unlikely. There is simply no way I could have beaten that army type with Scourge, and that was frankly a little upsetting.

This is the nature of beast that is expansion though, and I understand that. Balance is bound to be lost as new units are released, and it always takes a little for the playing field to catch up. I'll keep my fingers crossed that the Monitors and Coruptors, and maybe even the Overseer can help bridge the gap.

So for now, let's focus on the positive. I'm back.

Well, until they muck up Scourge again at least. And then I'll just revert back to being a moany, whiny bitch.


  1. Glad you found it funny again.

    I am an experienced PHR player that have experienced the ups and downs and the current overpowered superunit level :-) I have a scourge list which I use for my painting part of the hobby. Just love to paint the squids. I have nt played a game with them though. One day...

    In general i feel that scourge basic units are still good, more because of the new units just bringing the same power level more than anything else. The exception of course destroyers and eviscerators, which are good but balanced.

    BNut in genral I love the idea and painting of scourge. Some day I might actually also get a game with them. Perhaps take them to the Origins tournament in July.

  2. Well that is some deep thinking Dan.
    Well writen as always.
    I hope you keep your Zen.

    Cheers, Thunder

  3. I had a really good time at Coastal Assault with my Scourge too, and although I'm not a good player and don't expect to win games, I didn't get drawn against the Resistance and felt that I had a chance in every game. My opponents were all lovely and I had three excellent games.

    I tried two Desolators this time and although they were still underwhelming, they were less underwhelming than a single one is.

    Looking forward to following your experiments with the new Scourge units. I'm really looking forward to the Overseer which I'm hoping I'll have a lot more success with.

  4. I too am Zen in the way of thinking when it comes to Scourge. I love them. They don't always do a lot and they die quickly but hey they are more fun than the OP Shaltari! :-)