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Help me choose a second faction - WestGamer
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:43 am 
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Because I have an addiction I feel the need to explore a second faction, and this is where it gets hard.

I know I want to try something a bit different to ALEPH, but at the same time the faction needs to tick certain boxes so that I’ll still enjoy using it. Said faction should have access to link teams (I really like link teams!)

As I see it ALEPH/Steel Phalanx offer the following:
- multiple link teams
- great medium infantry at a high price tag
- fully tricked out heavy infantry (with corresponding massive price tag)
- limited but highly effective camo units.
- plenty of NWI or plenty of ODD/ mimetism, but few units with both. As such units are either vulnerable to their price tag or to cheap template attacks.

Things that I like:
- multiple wounds (I like stacking things in my favour and having the ‘insurance wound’ against a lucky enemy crit)
- MI to HI link teams, or LI with template weapons.
- chain of command
- template weapons on multi wound/high ARM units.
- frontline or very fast specialists i.e. specialists that can fight e.g. camo forward observers, infiltrating hackers, HI hackers, linkable MI doctors/engineers etc. Units that spring to mind would be myrmidon hackers, shang ji hackers, shrouded observers, Kaplan doctors etc.
- Medium TAG’s……I like the speed and hitting power, but start getting worried once they hit the 90 point mark unless they have camo or something e.g. O’Yori, tikbilang(sp??), lizard, iguana, scarface are good budget TAGs. The ulan, caskuda, sphinx, cutter, avatar would be suitably exciting/safe that I would be prepared to pay the premium for.
- mass camo. Not sure on this, I’d be interested to use it, but a the same time I like having actual models on the table.
- proper combat remotes (I like the speed), things like the bulletteer, dakini, ru’shi, lu’duan. All these have cheaty ways of staying alive (mimetism, ODD, holo projector, MSV2 tricks)
- mines – haven’t had a lot of chance to use these in the past, but they look fun!

Based on that list of ‘I want everything’ I have come up with a few ideas:

Imperial Service:
- can form a cheap HI link team (even including a high BS light grenade launcher)
- plenty of good combat remotes
- su-jian is basically a super budget mini TAG (I approve a lot!)
- kuang shi for regular dogged chain rifle wielding horror
- chain of command available
But
- limited lt options that tend to be either very expensive or completely uninspiring (I hate not using the lt order, feels like such a waste)
- very limited specialists. The dakini paramedic is pretty cool thanks to its ok combat ability and great speed, but the rest are pretty lack luster.

Shock Army:
- mech deployment HI with light grenade launcher or spitfire….this is very cool!
- monofilament mines available
- chain of command available (on an AD troop at that)
- one bulletteer available
- decent TAG options (including a TAG lt – now that’s a good use of an lt order!)
- respectable linkable MI that can have a reasonably priced specialist included
- cheap minelayers
But
- few good specialist options
- no HI link teams
- only two durable template weapons

Neoterra:
- all the cheap heavy flame thrower armed disposable specialists you could ever want
- camo TAG (and relatively cheap at that)
- devas provide cheap MSV2 and template weapons
- excellent variety of remotes (ok, so really Im talking about bulletteers and garudas)
But
- no chain of command
- list feels like it lacks options
- no interesting link team options

Nomads:
- truly formidable selection of camo and TO camo units
- decent selection of TAG’s
But
- no chain of command
- SWC adds up really fast (a lot of lt’s need SWC or are quite expensive)
- for some reason I just cant write lists Im happy with…..it just wont fit

Bakunin:
- HI and MI link teams available
- loads of camo available
- multiple sin eaters opens up some interesting reactive play options
- suitable TAG
- some horrible tricks (I like the look of riot gurrls backed up by Pi-Well)
But
- lt options are a pain! They all cost SWC and are expensive or rubbish
- weak specialists outside of zero’s……the custodia is good, but slow and expensive
- no chain of command

Caledonia:
- the opposite to ALEPH lol
- loads of cheap chain rifles, half of which are dogged
- cameronians….nuff said…..ok, super fast, super jump, HI with a pair of chain rifles
- some interesting link options (wulvers, greys)
- some fun infiltrators (SAS with grenades and chain rifles, Uxia)
- loads of cheap snipers (caterans)
But
- while very low tech they play a very ‘smash your face off’ type of game quite similar to the steel phalanx, they just do it a bit differently
- no chain of command
- no mines
- limited specialists

QK:
- multiple links
- linkable MI and good LI specialists (Kaplan, djanbazan, sekban)
- pair of medium TAG’s
- HI link with template weapons (Azra’il)
- Hafza specialists can be linked in with otherwise non specialist link teams – this is cool!
- disposable AD3 chain rifles
But
- quite popular at the moment
- no chain of command

Combined with a shasvasti focus:
- lots of juicy camo toys
- all the apex tech (sepsitor, plasma rifle, mono mines, impersonator)
- outrageous TAG’s….but little/no cheap stuff to back them up = pray for 1st turn or your order pool is dead
- would be mostly shasvasti units with a few morat specialists added in
But
- not sure I would like the look of a mixed combined army. EI units with shas or morats are fine, but just not sure about mixing them all in.


Well there we go. As you can see I basically want to collect everything, help me narrow it down….I’m going mad!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:00 am 
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I want a new force also Boothy....I feel like holding out until the Nordic themed Pan Os sectorial is released......

Or, I will just buy cool minis and go 0-4 again....pretty happy either way


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:03 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:13 am 
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Would you entertain playing vanilla? Regardless of faction choice, you would get access to most options but fundamentally they would play differently due to lack of links.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:28 am 
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Location: Thornlie
Ah Tohaa how did I forget them!

Yes Tohaa are absolutely being considered as well. So many link teams, and they can all be mixed up, and have specialists added to them, and there are multiple wounds all over the place!

Only real downside to Tohaa is lack of chain of command.

I would consider vanilla if I was playing a camo force, they tend to deploy further up the table anyway, and be more focused on the individuals. I have actually only been using Steel Phalanx for two weeks (prior to that I only played vanilla), basically I discovered that I really like link teams.

Do we know when the next set of sec lists are coming out? If its in the not too distant future I might be able to hold off……but I doubt it.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:33 am 
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Also Morats have a decent TAG (not the best TAG in Combined but decent), link team available with the majority of unit types, AD diplomats that hit like a freight train with z-vis smoke, cheap dogged units, a really cool new starter box, cheap order monkeys and the list goes on. Though I do see this being similar to you Aleph and being more of smash your face with Morat bluntness.

Though another thing is have you thought of going outside your comfort zone? taking a risk in vanilla, or something that doesn't have all the right boxes? I see it doing a world of good for your play style if you did, as you then learn to play without your safety nets and think of unique ways to counter certain things.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:39 am 
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Yep I agree Jarrod I do want to use a faction that has different tricks to ALEPH (so I won’t be fielding any reverend moira link teams any time soon), but I don’t really think any other factions really use the same trick (in its broadest sense - mass availability of ODD/mimetism and NWI). Besides that most faction have some overlapping tricks.

A case could be made for avoiding mass camo as its might be too similar to ODD. Basically both are using heavy mods to hit to protect expensive and otherwise squishy units. Camo gets the 1st strike, but is a bit easier to hit in return, but it’s kind of playing the same game.

In that case we can probably rule out combined, vanilla nomads, and Bakunin.

Shock Army and Imperial service do look interesting in that they are probably built around a decent link, then supported by powerful individuals with either high speed or some sort of deployment shenanigans to help keep the order efficiency up.

Tohaa and QK are probably a bit closer to the Phalanx in that they can all build multiple links but lack any really powerful single pieces (besides Achilles), so the power comes from the extreme aggression and table control possible with multiple links?

Im least convinced about Neoterra. I think they would play quite similarly to vanilla ALEPH, and really im just being tempted in by the camo TAG and mass heavy flamethrower specialists.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:17 pm 
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It sounds like ISS fit your need, bar the specialist options for ITS.

It has cheap HI link team (Wuming) and cheap LI link team (comes in MSV2 flavour as well). I found Celestial Guard link to be decent and brutal when used properly, and cheap to boot.

Ninja provides TO Camo Hacker option, altough with AVA 1, and Sun Tze has Strategos 3 so you won't waste that Lt order.

Plus...it comes with Miranda Ashcroft (ODD + monofilament CCW).

The only downside is the number of specialists. :|

If you want to give ISS a spin, let me know. I have a few figures (you may need to proxy some stuff) and won't be using them in the next few months. Save you from spending $$ now.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:33 pm 
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One day I want to try running three Su Jians in ISS.....

As for new Sectorials, rumours abound. Some have heard Gencon, some next year.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:18 am 
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I have done some contemplating and some list building and narrowed it down further:

Imperial Service is out, but JSA is in. I was finding it too hard to balance link options with specialists (without ending up with a celestial guard link team – which isn’t what I want), I wasn’t overly excited by the wu ming either. They are solid, but I wanted templates or grenades or something.

JSA by contrast surprised me in list building. Outside of the karikuri(sp) their specialists looked a bit boring, but its actually possible to have quite an interesting spread thanks to cheap access to chain of command (leaves the spec ops to do some more exciting stuff). They have an abundance of light HI with various weapons (that I highly approve of), TO ninjas with smoke, and bikes, and a TAG lt option. Serious contenders I think.

Tohaa – up there. Love the diversity their link rules allow. Only wish that the templates were more durable (only the ectros or gorgos can take a hit while using templates). I also like the fact that with symbioant armour using paramedics to actually heal troops isn’t asking for certain death!

Shock Army – I have made some lists that look OK, but something just doesn’t sit right…..it might be lack of heavy weapons (only two in a list so far), but every list has had 46 points sunk into the Montessa with light grenade launcher (which I love the idea of). Probably need to test this on the table before I can be certain.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:35 pm 
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I think you should go Tohaa, as they are new and have a lot to still be revealed allowing a nice expansion into the unknown. Also to me they seem to be ticking all the boxes for you except the durable templates (again new faction, there are potential for more), and its seems like you are too picky about what they have access to and are struggling to find one that fills the void (your style) the best. What you should try and do is get some practice with a few lists, and see if you like the force or select the faction on looks.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:33 pm 
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Well it was a tough choice, but Tohaa won out in the end.

While they cant field a proper HI link team for cheap they tick pretty much all the other boxes. Lack of camo/ODD is pleasing as it forces me to move away from that style of front line troops, but the abundance of multi wounds should keep me nice and safe from those silly crits that can spoil my carefully laid plans.

I played a couple of proxy games to try out Tohaa, JSA, and Shock Army. The shock army was fantastically flexible, but I just found the Tohaa a bit more exciting to play with. JSA didnt really do it for me. I was running a karakari link, and when one of them goes down the order efficiency of the list went straight to hell.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:58 pm 
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I won! I won! :mrgreen:

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