Thursday, 16 April 2015

Best of Friends

Best of friends. Or an opportunistic photo taken
before the bear started it's dinner...
As Dropzone has grown and aged, much like a fine wine (I use this metaphor without being able to back it up, all wine tastes like sweet petrol to my unrefined pallet), the roads of choice have forked and had lanes added, tunnels of dilemma have grown and widened like sink holes, and appetisers and deserts added to the menu of DzC. First there was the second standard choices, which were then followed by a host of unique support, heavy and scout choices which nestled neatly into their respective races slots. The latest twigs to branch from the DzC tree are the new Commanders, which has given most races an entirely whole new spin on army selection! Maybe that metaphor should have been seeds sown in the garden of Dave and Simon... Hm. Or the latest sails on the good ship Commander.

Crap metaphors aside, there is one avenue which isn't looked upon very often, and that is the unique choice that Scourge and Resistance armies have access to; the second commander.

The choice has been there for, well, ever, for both armies, but never really taken advantage off. I guess the Resistance are new so people haven't really tried exploiting the list fully yet, and as for the Desolator... Well, we all know my feelings towards the magnificent flying weather machine. The fact of the matter though is that both of these armies can have two units of immense power, and that they actually fit in the armies like a hand in a well oiled glove. Alright, no more metaphors, I promise.

Let's look at the Resistance first.

My next army to use will be the Resistance, and quite frankly I can't wait. Every list I have drafted in the last month has had two commanders, and it hasn't even crossed my mind once to not have them, Between le Resistance and the Scourge the duel commander build fits the orphans of humanity that little bit better. Here is one of my sample lists:



I have recently been on the receiving end of a Thunderstorm, and wow, people who think the Phoenix is a beast need to get blasted by one of these boys. Four E12 shots annhiate basically everything. A Thunderstorm took out my fresh Oppressor in one round of shooting with only marginally above average rolling. That's how good ACDC's roaming stage is! One thing it can't do however is quickly navigate through a packed mid-table due to it's immense bulk. That's where the Alexander slots in.

I'm not really a fan of Hannibals. They are a lot of points for a tank which is only okay at shooting A10 and 9 units. They are however very survivable, due to their 2DP and that no one will shoot them because they don't kill anything. This survivability and points cost makes them great at holding focal points, which is a slot in the list that needs filling reliably. Do you know what is better than the Hannibal at holding focal points and surviving and killing stuff though? Yep, you guesed it, the Alexander. Without a CV it is only 45 points more than two Hannibals, so stick it in a Lifthawk, fly it to where you need a heavy hitter and drop it, safe in the knowledge that either it will not be moved or your opponent will train their entire army on the juggernaut to remove it. Whilst this is happening though, a Thunderstorm is cruising about nearby creating havoc and death.

Another thing; I didn't realise just how good the Thunderstorm is at building demo! Maximum damage on a building from the hovercraft's four plasma cannons and the Alexander's Equlaizer cannon in one turn of shooting is twenty four damage! Twenty Four!! Throw in the chainguns and maelstrom launcher, you are looking at a potential thirty six damage. Wow.

Now I've not tried the combo, but they bring everything you need. You won't be lacking on FP grabbers, AT units in the list, or even AA and troops if you construct it correctly. It doesn't even feel like an 'all eggs in one basket' list, although if you did think of it in that way, you could say that all the eggs are hard boiled. And then covered in concrete. Everything thing in the above list works together to cause an opponent to react, almost overwhelming an opponent with options. I'll be assembling this force, and can't wait to see my adversaries jaws drop.

Two Alexander's would also work, but I don't think two Thunderstorm's would. They would just get under each others- erm not feet. Flaps, let's go with flaps- and neither would provide its full potential.

Right, next it's peanut butter jelly time.

Rolling Hot posted a great article a little while ago regarding what they like to call the Double D; the Duel Desolater (I can't help my dirty mind thinking that this sounds like a painful, soul stretching sex act though. Just add in some tactics about them both penetrating the target at once, and well, yeh...). From what I gather in conversations with Hawk, this list was seen as a good option over in the states. I can see it suiting their play style, as from articles I read or listen to there is always an overwhelming amount of tanks, both heavy and standard being used in their games! Who needs flesh when you have metal, right? It isn't however something I have ever seen in the UK, or really heard of being used outside of the US though. So why is that? Pre-errata I would say because of the points sink into units not being able to contribute to mission criteria, and as we all know DzC is all about the mission criteria!

But things have changed now. Desolaters aren't the waste of points they once were- they now can actually contribute to your army! This suddenly spins the choice, and then couple that with the release of the Oppressor... Well, you could end up playing armies like this:



Now I don't know about you, but I sure as hell don't want to play that list! Letting the Desolater maraud up one flank, whilst the Oppressor captain it's minions and heads up a pincer attack on the other flank is a tantalizing possibility. There are a few issues though. I don't think these two commanders fit as well together as the Thunder and Alex. The Desolator is too sporadic to be reliable, and you cannot risk putting the Oppressor near it because you always know you will hit and double up in that bloody Ion Drizzle attack that you are too weak to resist using. The blazing hot irony is that the Desolater needs the Oppressor to back it up in case it fails. I think two Desolater's would work better, but you will need to luck to use the army efficiently. You also need to add a CV2 boss in the second unit, or it can't score. You could run two Oppressors running parallel to each other which is fairly tasty, although if you get caught without AA back up you could lose them both in two or three turns.

One other potential problem is that whereas the Resistance are cheap and can bolt a 'competitive' army together with two commanders, the Scourge will struggle due to the points cost of units. Just look at my list; no Reavers and no real hammer unit.

All in I'm reckoning that duel Resistance lists are a good choice, but Scourge perhaps not so much. Thunderstorm/Alexander, and Oppressor/Oppressor lists look the most reliable and the best value for points of the bunch.

I actively encourage you to get FFOR out and get your duel commander list on! The trick is to fit in what you really want first, and then fill the gaps. Oh, and trust me, you won't get that second squad of your favourite unit in...

21 comments:

  1. Cool article. I was just trying out two commanders at FFOR with my resistance before reading about it.
    I came up with something weird:

    Standard Army
    Clash: 1500/1500 points
    Standard Army
    Resistance Standard [1500/1500 pts]
    Breaching Drills [100 pts]
    Breaching Drill: Model 109 Breaching Drill [50 pts]
    Breaching Drill: Model 109 Breaching Drill [50 pts]
    Warlord's HQ [510 pts]
    Alexander: M3 Alexander, AT-77 Lifthawk(+AA Cannon) [205 pts]
    Thunderstorm: NT-5 Thunderstorm Custom(Leader) [245 pts]
    Gun Technicals: 6x Gun Technical [60 pts]
    Vehicle Detachment [113 pts]
    Gun Wagons: 3x Gun Wagon, NT-1 Kraken [113 pts]
    Vehicle Detachment [60 pts]
    Rocket Technicals: 6x Rocket Technical [60 pts]
    Resistance Band [259 pts]
    Fighters: 2x Resistance Fighters, AT-77 Lifthawk(+AA Cannon), 3x MT-90 Jackson [163 pts]
    ^ Sharing ^ Fighters: 2x Resistance Fighters [48 pts]
    ^ Sharing ^ Fighters: 2x Resistance Fighters [48 pts]
    Infiltrators [328 pts]
    Freeriders: 2x Freeriders [70 pts]
    Veterans: 2x Occupation Veterans, NT-1 Kraken, 2x Battle Bus(+Heavy Machine Gun Battery) [178 pts]
    ^ Sharing ^ Veterans: 2x Occupation Veterans [80 pts]
    Infiltrators [130 pts]
    Gun Technicals: 6x Gun Technical [60 pts]
    Freeriders: 2x Freeriders [70 pts]


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    Replies
    1. Shame you couldn't fit some Cyclones in there. Not sure you need 2 drills? In fact I'm not sure where all your points have gone! Give it a whirl though, sometimes things work better on the battlefield than they do on paper!

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    2. The idea was to let most things come out of the drills for backfield harras. Pretty guerrilla style, which fits the Resistance in my opinion.
      Although it might be not very competitive.

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  2. Thanks for the shout out! I've had my Alexanders for some time now, just need to get the brush on them.
    chrisloomis13

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    Replies
    1. Look forward to seeing your reports!

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  3. Faeit 212 had an article the other day about double commanders too.....seems to be the new fashion!!

    But it got me thinking about double thunderstorms. yes they're massive and unwieldy, but by having 2 you're essentially covering the majority of your anti-tank and building demo in 2 unit if expensive units. This frees you up points wise to take plenty of AA and infantry. I think its important that the rest of the list is based around aircraft however- (Troops in Jacksons and Lifthawks, Cyclones, Pathfinders, MFR etc.) to make sure you don't box yourself in.

    As you said its also important that the Thunderstorms don't get in each others way, So either one down each flank or one flanking and the other middle depending on terrain? But anything caught in 2's crossfire isn't going to be happy that's for sure!!

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    Replies
    1. True, although because of their bulk they can be avoided, which is why I think they will work better with an Alexander. It's all theory hammer at the moment though really.

      I saw his post, but I am taking solace in the fact this post was written last weekend!

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  4. I'm quite impressed you get so easily 6 battlegroups as well. I do think the Resistance list is better though. How fare the Oppressor when the CV is so low? I'm thinking it is great when attacking but not when it dies. Have you guys come up with the "correct amount of infantry" in the resistance army yet? 5 squads?

    Great article! /Egge

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    Replies
    1. I've not tried it with a CV less than 5, so I'm not sure, but with the way a Scourge army is shaped with the Oppressor you need to be dictating BG play.

      I think probably 5 Infantry is the one for Resistance, because of the necessity for speed to be in central buildings requiring a Lifthawk. You don't need 6 Infantry, so your other BG will have some Batlebusses in. It's not too bad points wise, but isn't really that fluffy; why are there more Resistance survivors than army soldiers? Never mind ehy!

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    2. Not sure there is a perfect amount in a resistance list. 5 plus 1 or 2 squads of freeriders seems to be the norm If you use Jacksons.
      I still think Skullsword had a good setup with 2 squads of res fighters in battle busses and 2 squads of MFR plus freeriders

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    3. I really liked your posts regarding amount of infantry. You should post regarding that as it is quite complicated with the Resistance. /Egge

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  5. Gorramit why when I make a list with something in does it appear here.
    Been fiddling around with this list below.

    The armoured resistance.

    Standard Army
    Clash: 1496/1500 points
    Standard Army
    Resistance Standard [1496/1500 pts]
    Warlord's HQ [400 pts]
    Alexander: M3 Alexander(Leader) [195 pts]
    Alexander: M3 Alexander, AT-77 Lifthawk(+AA Cannon) [205 pts]
    Vehicle Detachment [293 pts]
    Gun Wagons: 3x Gun Wagon, NT-1 Kraken [113 pts]
    Cyclones: 3x AH-16 Cyclone [180 pts]
    Resistance Band [259 pts]
    Fighters: 2x Resistance Fighters, AT-77 Lifthawk(+AA Cannon), 3x MT-90 Jackson [163 pts]
    ^ Sharing ^ Fighters: 2x Resistance Fighters [48 pts]
    ^ Sharing ^ Fighters: 2x Resistance Fighters [48 pts]
    Resistance Band [164 pts]
    Fighters: 2x Resistance Fighters, NT-1 Kraken, 2x Battle Bus [116 pts]
    ^ Sharing ^ Fighters: 2x Resistance Fighters [48 pts]
    Rusted Fist [220 pts]
    Zhukovs: 2x M20 Zhukov, AT-77 Lifthawk(+AA Cannon) [220 pts]
    Rusted Fist [160 pts]
    Hannibals: 2x M9 Hannibal, AT-77 Lifthawk(+AA Cannon) [160 pts]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Drop hannibals for freeriders and give the lifthawk to the Alexander. 20 points left, knock yourself out

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  6. That Resistance list is brilliant! Why the drill though? I suppose your two freeriders could come out of the drill. Do you just use it for infantry bases to leave the board with objectives?

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    Replies
    1. It is mostly for objective extraction, but also doubled up as a very crafty focal point grabber. They are hard to move, and always a last priority for people to target!

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  7. I like Hannibals. 3pts more than an Ares, tougher. If you reckon it can't hurt anything... are you sure? Does a Katana have any firepower? Yep, it's got more than a Sabre. And the Hannibal has more than a Katana. :-)

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    Replies
    1. A Katana moves 6! In a game of mobility and redeployment the faster vehicle is king. Unfortunately, just comparing firepower is not worth it. Hannibals are easy to ignore and maneuver around. Katanas not so easy to avoid. But comparing units like for like in different armies is futile. It will only lead to mind explosions. Especially as they do different things.

      I think a list with 2 Alexanders does not need Hannibals. That is 3 very slow moving units, some extra mobility is needed I think, also I think that the Alexander has to have a Lifthawk, otherwise it is pretty much restricted to building demo for most of the game

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    2. Problem is, Katanas have a 6" Mv, twice that of a Hannibal, and they don't need a Condor the way a Hannibal squad needs a Lifthawks, and the Lifthawks w/ AA cannon is > twice the cost of a Condor... Pretty soon, you've got to be comparing a squad of 2 Hannibals + tax to close to two squads of 3 Katanas (doing the math in me head, mate!). I love Hannibals, too, but (*sigh*) they're hard to justify at 1,500 points when so many other things are worth taking, like Cyclones and Freeriders... And we have to take soooo many points worth of Infantry to be viable... It's a challenge!

      I hadn't thought about getting a Thunderstorm before, but now I'm having to plan and budget for one! LOL! I've got an Alex plus Salakahn's ride, so I can proxy that as a second Alex, but the sheer firepower output potential of the NT-5 Custom is very enticing!

      One thing to note, tho, is I highly recommend picking up some wrecked building markers like the ones Greenstuff Industries sells. You will quickly see that while a Thunderboy can quickly level a building, it's not going to be moving over the remains of said building, something that's easy to forget (or ignore) if you just mark where the building was with dice... But bringing that building that's in the way down will enable the NT-5 to target vehicles that would otherwise be hiding behind it, so it's still worth dropping some masonry if its blocking your Line of Sight...

      8^D

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    3. Ack, Mega Mike the ninja! We had the same thought about the Katana vs the Hannibal at the same time... LOL!

      I agree that the Alex needs a Lifthawk, tho, too... Also, my Alex tends to be a bullet magnet, and by "bullet" I mean high-velocity AT shells. I'd never had a commander killed as easily or as frequently before than when I started playing Resistance back when they came out...

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    4. Unfortunately, it happens. Scourge will find that now with the Oppressor, I suspect that the Nemesis and Phoenix will also get taken out a lot too. Actually the Gharial too - It seems that all the new commanders are a bit more "front-line" (not the PHR though) and will suffer for it, but then they are armed well, so just be sure to dole out a load of punishment first

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  8. This is my dual Thunderstorm list. I'm keen to try it out and tweak it.

    Clash: 1498/1500 points
    Standard Army
    Resistance Standard [1498/1500 pts]
    Breaching Drills [50 pts]
    Breaching Drill: Model 109 Breaching Drill [50 pts]
    Warlord's HQ [510 pts]
    Thunderstorm: NT-5 Thunderstorm Custom(Leader) [245 pts]
    Barrel Bomber: Barrel Bomber(+AA Cannon) [80 pts]
    Thunderstorm: NT-5 Thunderstorm Custom [185 pts]
    Vehicle Detachment [113 pts]
    Gun Wagons: 3x Gun Wagon, NT-1 Kraken [113 pts]
    Resistance Band [206 pts]
    Fighters: 2x Resistance Fighters, NT-1 Kraken, Battle Bus, Battle Bus(+Rocket Launcher Battery) [126 pts]
    ^ Sharing ^ Veterans: 2x Occupation Veterans [80 pts]
    Resistance Band [194 pts]
    Fighters: 2x Resistance Fighters, NT-1 Kraken, 2x Battle Bus(+Heavy Machine Gun Battery) [146 pts]
    ^ Sharing ^ Fighters: 2x Resistance Fighters [48 pts]
    Infiltrators [140 pts]
    Freeriders: 2x Freeriders [70 pts]
    Freeriders: 2x Freeriders [70 pts]
    Rusted Fist [285 pts]
    Zhukovs: 2x M20 Zhukov, AT-77 Lifthawk(+AA Cannon) [220 pts]
    Barrel Bomber: Barrel Bomber [65 pts]

    ReplyDelete