Jens’ after tournament report part 2

Posted: 7 August, 2014 by egges in Article series, Battle report, Discussion, Dropzone commander, Jens, Shaltari, Swedish tournaments, tactics, Tournaments

Another Thursday and another post from Jens!

This time around we will see his analysis of his Command and Scout battlegroups.

In this second article, I will continue review the Shaltari army list I used at the Dropzone Commander tournament at Wexio 2014. The article discusses the initial thought process followed by an evaluation and a final judgement on a battle group per battle group basis.

Court of Elders

Command: Coyote w/ Warchief (CV 4)

Heavy: Ocelot

Thought process:

I had been recommended a Warchief commander and I choose not to question the wisdom of the wise. Pairing my Coyote with an Ocelot was the intention to make the whole battle group walk-on, not relying on gates my plan was to deploy them last using the Ocelot to deny an area to the enemy and firing a pair of shots with the Coyote at an enemy occupied building.

Evaluation:

The Coyote is very sturdy and the Shaltari command warstrider stood well against the armoured waves of the enemy, at first I was a bit too careful but later on through the tournament the Coyote saw more and more action. I am convinced it should take a more prominent role and lead from the frontlines accompanied by a Dreamsnare and some Jaguars. Such a center could be the presence of brute force Shaltari sometimes need and I feel is lacking overall from their standard units, the Tomahawk and Tarantula. Another unit was considered for brutal force with its particle cannon, the Ocelot.

I wanted brutal force and the Ocelot brought as much as I asked for at times but not always. My impression of the Ocelot is unfortunately a bit mixed, its impressive weaponry works well to make sure my enemy will not step into its line of fire risking expensive units, the downside is its hit or miss characteristic. With one powerful shot it is impressive and scary, but when you fail to roll a 2+ a couple of times trying to hit a building its dreadfulness is reduced to a bleak memory, and establishing courage in the opponent’s heart. When it does perform it is incredibly, 10 DP on an armoured building and the opponent might start to tremble, at least that is what I imagined. Or if you have the opportunity, snipe a PHR Zeus command walker and the battle could be won. The Ocelot has the ability to reach out and touch even the toughest enemy and only leave a pile of junk.

Final judgment

The Coyote will henceforth be put on the frontlines hopefully absorbing a lot of shells, plasma and what else is thrown at it, bring it, the Coyote with Dreamsnare support can take it. The Ocelot will be considered and might be replaced. Its demolition potential of D3+2 makes it valuable, but there are units to consider as its replacement. My first consideration is the Caiman, a potential replacement with greater mobility and possibly equal demolition potential. With three E10 shots and two E7 shots it might lack some oomph but might prove to be more reliable than the Ocelot.

To place the Ocelot in the Court of Elders battle group is and was in my opinion a good decision. With the two squads being compiled of single units they could act independent and decisive not exposing another squad waiting to activate later in the turn.

Speartip

Scout: 2x Yari w/ light ion cannons

Exotic: 2x Firstborns

Thought process:

To be able and use command cards in Dropzone Commander, a faction specific deck which bring some flavour to the battlefield, you need to expand your sphere of influence with scouts. With a Warchief commander with a CV of 4 my Coyote would bring a 18 inch radius sphere of influence complemented by two Yari scout grav tanks each with 18 inch radius sphere of influence themselves. Armed with light ion cannons they could help out with some anti-air, taking pot shots at vulnerable transports.

Complementing the Yaris I choose two bases of Firstborns, the Shaltaris elite melee infantry, their stats impressed me and I planned to use them as either shock troops to steal and deny objectives or to counter my foes own elite infantry.

Evaluation:

It is hard to evaluate the Yaris, their armament was almost useless and did not really contribute, I actually think they should have two shots instead of one and they would be fine. They did their job spreading the sphere of influence but not much more, I guess if I had not included some Yaris they would have been missed, but they feel a bit useless at the moment. Since there is no substitute I have to try and run a list without scouts and see if it works. Since the Coyote command warstrider is durable enough to be at the frontline perhaps the Shaltari does not need scouts as much as the other factions. At the same time this is part of the Dropzone Commander charm, every unit have task, they are designed to do their thing good and nothing else, the Yari is a scout, with good movement, 12 inches and a passive save; perhaps it is just good enough.

The Firstborn on the other hand is not a unit that is just good enough, it is phenomenal, I really liked how they perform and they could stand their ground against almost anything, an exception was UCM:s Praetorians reinforced by command cards which broke the Firstborns by weathering them down, one by one. I never had the opportunity to meet Sirens and see how they would fare against PHR:s deadly but squishy elite, perhaps in the future.

Final judgment:

I do not really know what to do with the Yaris, I will try to field an army list without them and see if an 18 inch radius sphere of influence is enough in the centre of the table. If they had two shots instead of one they could act us back-up anti-air, but at one shot it is not good enough in my opinion. The Firstborns though is not really a choice, they are essential to the Shaltari war machine. They will and I believe should be fielded in all cases where you as a Shaltari commander would expect close quarter combat.

 

That is it for this time, more to come in part 3 next Thursday. Always feel free to comment and question my reasoning, as a new player I appreciate tips and tricks.

 

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Comments
  1. Engel says:

    Interesting thoughts Jens, and as you wrote the Coyote is a “in your face” kind of leader. But him in a firefight, its whats he wants.

  2. Jens says:

    Engel: I agree, I believe it is so durable, especially with a Dreamsnare that you almost want it to be shot because of it’s awesome soaking potential. I hope to exercise this idea at Pew-Pew.

    • egges says:

      My Desolator basically dies every game but he soaks up a lot of fire before and the opponent needs to act upon it.

  3. egges says:

    How did the walk on HQ groups work first turn? Since you have to activate at least a single gate, isn’t it worth aiming to have the Coyote in a gate first turn? Or do you need that for the Ocelot, perhaps?

  4. Jens says:

    Egge: I had two Havens left to activate which stayed on the mothership. The Edens were used to bring the Jaguars closer to the middle of the table. Since the Ocelot will not be able to shoot first turn unless units could be deployed on-board combined with its infinite range I felt it could walk-on instead of being teleported in.

    But you have a valid point, I am considering to bring the Coyote through an Eden instead of walk-on since it is really tough and I am wondering if it would not be better to bring a Jaguar or two through walk-on to be able and reactive fire the odd fast mover that could appear from nowhere.

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