Friday, 21 October 2016

Always Against The Grain

I can't help it guys. There's just something inside that forces me to do things differently to everybody else. By striving to be unique though, I often tend to make things difficult for myself (and everyone else around me, after I begin the whining that is sure to come). I've been told I play life on Hard mode, and it's probably true, I'm a gluten for punishment. Yum, punishment. The Scourge are finally in a better place, although those of you who have listened to the latest Podcast will know we think they are far from being fixed, but I just find myself yearning for something a little different. I did experiment with Resistance briefly (although it was a failed experiment, and was aborted early) just to break up my gaming a bit. I love you Jellys, but I think we should see other people for a while.

Hogs then.

Before you start thinking "Oh yeh, hard mode yeh, with the broken Shaltari, real hard." I have my own morals and benchmarks which are dictating my list builds. For a start, I've never liked lists harshly inclined towards demo, a little is fine, but a lot is sure to take the jam out of not just my opponents doughnut but mine also. It's just such a dull way to play the game! This opinion scores a hard line through a multiple Caiman and Ocelot build. Next up is Infantry; I still believe four is optimal for the Hogs, so no taking just three Pungari for me. Coming in hot from Scourge it's hard to go cold turkey on CQB, so Firstborns are a must for every list. Lastly, in order to avoid the greatest of hypocrisy, no Panthers. I'm whiny enough as it is, and we can't be subjecting my opponents through two hours of why the unit is bullshit.

That all said, here is the list I have cobbled together;

Buhalin, please sort out the gate listing on these print outs,
it ruffles me up all the wrong way!
Taking into account the units which I didn't want to feature in the list in either multiples or at all, I have taken a somewhat leftfield approach. For a start I have no Firedrake, and the slot is instead taken by three Firebirds. My thinking is that although blasts and AI guns are of course always useful, we have preached so highly of the Firebird that they deserve a run out. Also in the past (I'm talking two years ago, even before the Firedrake existed; I'm old school, a Firstborn if you like) I loved the flexibility of having multiple gates buzzing about. It allows you to take advantage of jumping your larger units about the board and not have to worry about whether you want a FireDrake or a FireGate that turn. Flexibility in mobility has never been so important with the introduction of Critical Locations, and the ability to drive on a Caiman or Gharial and then plop it down on a CL 30" away should not be underestimated. #Shenanigans.

Having three Edens also allows a level of choice as to where to plop my two Totems. Two, that's right! It might not be optimal but I don't care, I've never used them before and I'm all excited about the ninja cannon and AA it comes with (quick side note, I think they should be E11 at a mere 50pts, but that probably won't change). As we're in an era of 'super demo' and until certain weapon ranges or preferably building rules get tweaked, having a Totem to protect your home building is almost a necessity. Heading back to Critical Locations once more, if you can see your opponent won't get there in time plopping down (plop is my new gate term, maybe I'll get a sound effect for games) a Totem will nab you a cheeky VP.

The AT in the list is pretty strong although not immediately evident, and spread around the list quite
nicely. A single Caiman is a great sniping tool, and even though there is only one it will still cause trouble for Hovercrafts, back board AA units and small buildings, and at mid to end game when it has finally crawled up the table will also threaten armour at mid-board. Tomahawks and I have had a fairly dysfunctional relationship, in that they have always unperformed and I have been pretty verbal about how bad they were. Now though, now in this weird meta, now in this time where low armour is somewhat prevalent, have they become viable? Only game time will tell. To finish this paragraph on a skimmer theme, the Gharial of course also boasts its E12 (again, should be E11) and zazzy demo guns.

The Tarantula has seen less board time since it's initial impact on the scene, I would think mainly due to the cost of gates hiking up and drive on units becoming more desirable. Truth be told I would rather have a squad of Birdeaters in their place, but as I have no way of gaining that sixth BG without the second Standard or Scout group (or second Caiman...). It's by no means a bad compromise though, and also allows for a cheeky 'Dead' activation if I want it. Zooming up the flank are the Firebirds, who although I've only had one game with am happy I've been able to include in the list. They killed an Odin in their first game! Nothing kills Odins!! If I had not used them incorrectly, and also had it not been Crucible against PHR (blaHelliosbla), they may have fared better and got a couple more kills. This is a unit I'm looking forward to using more!

The weak point in the list is definitely the AA, and I wish I had the BG to squeeze some Birdeaters into. I will be forced into using the Kukris for covering fire and the Totems for sniping (which could put Eden's in danger), but I'm sure I'll figure it out. When push comes to shove I always have Braves and Pungari, who boast a ludicrous E7 shot per base; who signed that off?!

Although I know this list isn't the finished article, I'm hoping this approach to the Space Hogs will provide the entertainment I crave from an army. Scourge are fun, always have been, always will be, and I want that feeling from the Shaltari. A boring, predictable drive on Caiman/Panther build is just that- boring and predictable. Let me know what you think, and if you have any suggestions just comment below!


  1. I'll comment on your blog post if you'll comment on mine... ;-)

    OK, you know I can't resist...

    I find your lack of AA,... disturbing. But I don't know where you'd squeeze in more, as you say. The Totems will provide "Stay Away!" Zones, but aren't mobile without the gates. On the other hand, they can shoot the turn they materialize/dematerialize, so that helps, but it ties up two Edens if you don't want a Totem to just go to the mothership... I think Starsprite Drones will give you trouble...

    Otherwise, very interesting.

    What, you don't want to try your hand at PHR or UCM? 8^P

  2. I played against Scourge on Friday, and it went okay; I even managed to kill an Overseer (Kukris over 2 turns will do that). I just have to be select, and ninja the units that need killing with Totems. Drones could be an issue, I'd have to neutralise the air with the Kukris and then go Ferrum hunting with the Firebirds.

    UCM next buddy ;)

    1. I can see the Firebirds being a real problem for a Ferrum. It might keep the Drones near it to try to to stop them, which keeps the Drones from causing mischief elsewhere on the battlefield, so good call...

  3. So you stroll on my path now it seeems, the dreaded double cruise missile build. but let me tell you: you'll need that 4th eden in the long run. and i found 2 squads of pungari to be just enough. but that's probably just me and my love for double exotics... will be interesting to see how you fare...

    1. You're probably right, I could lose the Tarantulas and squeeze in some Yari and a 4th Eden, I guess we'll see. I'm only a couple of games in yet, but enjoying them!