|Takin' some slaves.|
After a month or so of gaming with 12 or so games under my belt, I think I'm feeling 1500-1750 being the most optimal level of balance. I built a few MEQ lists at 1500, but I found that they suffer a little bit in terms of choices, allies and overall list construction. At 1750, I think MEQ can step up to the plate and feel pretty comfortable. I always feel comfortable with my DE at 1500, and I feel no different when I step up to the plate at 1750. In fact, I feel that 1750 allows me to make some serious list alterations for the better. Options open up and I'm able to expand and max out all my squads if I want to.
I've also noticed that some armies tend to scale near infinitely. I played a funny game the other day with a list my friend made (the list was pretty bad). The guy I played against had a pretty good idea how to build a IG list with GK allies, and I found myself wondering what the hell I was up against.
Here's what I had:
10x ASM w/ JP Priest
5x Sanguinary Guard w/ JP Chaplain
Stormraven w/ 10x ASM on foot w/ some Lamenters FW dude (not my list)
and a Baal Pred w/ TLAC and HB sponsons in reserve
I tried to play well, I really did.. but the list was so disgracefully bad I don't think I had a chance. I asked him if he was deliberately trying to fuck me and he said no. After I got tabled by turn 4 by..
CSS squad manning ADL Quad-Gun
2x Heavy teams w/ ACs
2x Leman Russ
2x 10x GKSS Rhinos w/ Psybolts and 2x Psycannons
and a Vendetta
I asked him why the list is so bad. His reply is: I just took random ass shit. Gee man, thanks. Last time you build my list. In fact, the only reason why I didn't take something I made was because I wanted to try something different. Never again.
Anyways, I looked across the table and wondered: How the fucking shit does he have all that while I barely have anything on the field. Yes, it could be that my friend likes really overpriced options, believes that variety is the spice of life (or death to marines), and that nipple armor is cool. It could also be that IG is just really competitively costed and GKs make up for every weakness they ever had. Since everyone HAS to deploy 50% of your army now, DoA is completely dead and BA armies will have to deploy almost everything or fail utterly. I seriously see no other alternative: You must saturate the field with targets minus your flyer, or else you're just not threatening vs. an army that puts down everything on the table.
I went back to my desk the next day and wrote up a BA list. Here's what I came up with:
2x 10x ASM jumpers w/ PF/Infernus, 2x Meltas
2x 5x ASM in TLLC Razorbacks
1x JP Priest
2x AC/LC Predators
1x Stormraven w/ EA, TLMM, TLLC
Alright, the list is definitely much better and fits under the criteria that I have with all my MEQ armies: No less than 30 scoring marine boots on the table. There's a good amount of Lascannons in there, on Fast-moving hulls, but definitely a lot less than I wanted at 1500 points. Since the SR has to go in reserve, my presence on the field is 4 vehicles as cover, Libby w/ jump ASM unit and the Priest w/ the other ASM unit. Ideally, I probably want the RBs to sit back and hold scoring troops while my AC/LC plays the strafing Lascannon game. The JP Libby, Priest and 2x 10x ASM squads will had to go in reserve, and hopefully everything comes on on Turn 2 for mass pressure on my opponents side of the board (while at the same time, relieving pressure from my tanks).
I know I went off on a tangent a little, but here are some things you can take from what I've said so far:
- Marines feel pretty limited at 1500. They feel much better at higher point games.
- Dark Eldar feels really good at 1500, I think that's their strongest point range. At 1750, they're still good, but other armies can put out a lot more fire. On the plus side, DE also gets more options at this level.
- All reserve armies are dead - you must saturate the field with targets or else you're bound to fail. I think the magic number is at least a 70-30 points spent showing on the field vs. what's in reserve (including fliers). Anything smaller and it'll work against you vs. an army that deploys in full. Of course, this depends on what you field and what the match-up is, but this is a good starting number I think.
- Unless you have IG allies, I'm not convinced that 1500 is a good place for taking allied troops. I tried mixing a few lists together, but I always feel like I'm choked on points for bodies, or I just don't cover enough bases. I see myself focusing a lot on singular armies at 1500 and only look towards allied options at 1750+.
- I feel IG plays very well at all levels, but get even stronger as the points go on due to Squadrons and competitive options in every FOC slot (basically the same as 5th). This also applies to them being Allies options (this is new to 6th), and GK helping out their main weakness makes them even stronger than before.
- Lastly, something needs to be done with the Warlord traits. There's times your opponent rolls something that's awesome: Stealth/MTC Ruins and I roll Outflank when I have no units to Outflank. Or, he rolls +1 to reserve rolls when he has nothing to reserve, and I roll Night Fighting vs. his shooty army. Although Warlord traits are kinda fun and add a nice random element to the game (yes, I said nice random), it's a pretty big game-changer. Maybe we can do what NOVA Open plans to do and that's: Roll 1 dice on 2 different trait charts, pick 1 trait from the 2.