So how can I change my list, taking into account the lessons learned in the last 8 games. The Key changes I want to make are
· Include 2 Piranhas
· Include some marker lights
· Lose the Burning Eyes
· Keep the Ethereal
· Keep Gun Drones
· Keep 3 Scoring Units (ignoring 2 units of Kroot who will always die, so 3 units of Kroot and 2 units of Fire Warriors in ‘Fish)
· Keep the Positional Relay.
· Maybe include Hammerheads.
I’m going to talk about the last point first, because I think it’s fundamental. The decision between Hammerheads or Broadsides fundamentally influences other choices in your army. If you take Hammerheads then your suits are less vulnerable. Sounds odd, but it isn’t. If you have Hammerheads people will shoot at them rather than your suits. They also give your suits something to hide behind. On the other hand, if you have no Hammerheads then there is nothing else to shoot at other than your suits. Also it is often hard to block LOS without them. As a result, it seems to me that, if you do not take Hammerheads, then you need to take gun drones to protect your suits. If you take Hammerheads, you can probably get away without gun drones. In addition, if you are taking more shots on your suits, then an Ethereal makes more sense.
· If you take Hammerheads no need for Gun Drones and (probably) no need for an Ethereal
· If you take Broadsides, then Gun Drones are necessary, and an Ethereal very helpful.
The 2 other points that need discussion are XV8 load out, and marker lights
As I said in the last post, the Burning Eyes simply didn’t work because they were so often out of range. The only way to solve that problem is to give the suits missile pods. I think the question then simply becomes whether you twin link the pod, or add a plasma rifle – i.e. Deathrains or Fireknifes. And (oddly) the answer to that question comes back to the perennial one of Hammerheads versus Broadsides! If I was running 6 Broadsides, I would be tempted to put plasma rifles on the Broadsides and run Deathrains. If I was running Hammerheads, 2 (or 3) plasma rifles just aren’t enough so I would go with Fireknifes.
As for Marker Lights, I struggle to see a more logical alternative than Pathfinders. You can get 3 on a Stealth suit team, but they are only BS3 and cost a lot of points. Marker Drones are too expensive (and are BS2!), and a Skyray is just a waste of a Heavy support slot. I’m afraid you are just stuck with Pathfinders.
Remember the problems with Pathfinders are
· They can’t move and shoot their marker lights
· They are vulnerable to both shooting and running away, and;
· You must take a Devilfish with them.
I can’t think of anything I can do about the first one. As for the second one, an Ethereal will help. As for the second one having the Positional Relay and the Second scoring D’fish also helps.
So, taking all this into account, I can see 2 lists forming.
· Hammerhead List. This one has 2 (or 3 at higher points) Broadsides, 2 Hammerheads and Fireknifes. Add pathfinders and piranhas to taste.
· Broadside List. This one has 4-6 Broadsides with plasma rifles, Deathrains with gun drones and an Ethereal. Add pathfinders and piranhas to taste.
My next Tournament is Throne of Skulls, which is 1500pts again. I doubt I’ll have enough points to do all of the above. I need to think about it and do some play testing.
More thoughts to follow.