Saturday, March 31, 2012

SA/GO: Combat Patrol Conundrum

Episode Seven (here are the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth) of my ongoing congenial correspondence with all-round legend, Brent, in which I think a bit more intensely about how to build a list for Combat Patrol.

And indeed, moving forward with my Combat Patrol list-building-frenzy-a-go-go, I have cautiously experimented with a few alternatives to my initial list. Unlike so many personalities on the interwebs, I utterly lack the ability to simply look at a list and say, “win” or “dreadful” etc. For that reason, amongst others, I have had some considerable difficultly landing on the list that I want to take to first-ever competitive event.

With only 19 days left until the event, I now have a massive six test-games under my belt, which is about as prepared as I have ever been for anything in my life. The army in question not only remains undecided, but also (naturally) unpainted as well. Like many AdeptiCon attendees, I have my work cut out for me in the next few weeks.

So here are my second and third experimental lists alongside my thoughts on them. The images, I should mention, are wip pics of my general Necron force, selections of whom I hope to muster in time for CP. Fingers crossed.

List 011: A Matter of Life and Deathmark

5 Warriors
5 Immortals
5 Deathmarks
5 Deathmarks
3 Tomb Blades

What I like:
This is a curiously spread list, with 23 models and 5 units on the table. The Warriors are there because they should be, though I might prefer they all be Immortals. This is one of those agonizing decisions that makes list creation so much fun –should I have traded out a Tomb Blade to field more Immortals …or is that not particularly viable, and just silly as well? As is stands, the three Tomb Blades are here to add some pace to the proceedings, which I imagine will be a valuable asset in this smaller field, and to appear in what hope might be sufficient numbers to act a genuine threat.  

The real issue here, however, is always going to be the Deathmarks. I like the models, sure, but I feel a villainous grin sneaking up my face every time I imagine the 2+ to wound rolls that each squad can nominate and then donate to the other. As such, these two squads might, potentially, wound an opponent’s entire force (I’m not sure, but I don’t expect to face many armies with more than two or three squads) with that probability. I will take those odds. In fact, I probably need those odds.

The thought warms my crusted, black, and mechanical heart. Of course, I suspect that these assassins will get a lot of attention on the back of the gimmick, which leads me to…

What gives me pause:
Perhaps the plan here lacks a dimension past the first one. While the idea is cool, I fear that it might not survive so well on the day; it seems reasonably transparent and gimmicky, and I have an inherent mistrust of gimmick for the sake of gimmick. If something terrible happens to those Deathmarks, and something surely will, I seem woefully flat for other options.

Moreover, the Deathmarks do not enjoy a Gauss classification, which makes them understandably less antagonistic versus vehicles. I don’t know.

List 111: Haste Makes Waste

5 Immortals
5 Deathmarks
3 Necron Destroyers
5 Tomb Blades

What I like:
Here, we are looking at the middle-ground of my hypothetical musings specifically with regard to model count, but I should note that 8 of these 18 models are kitted with T5 and with Jetbike or Jump Infantry movement. That’s hot… at least on paper

As importantly, this list feels the most “punchy” to my mind, with all weaponry either S5 or SX and with the Destroyers in particular (costly but fun) spitting out some AP3 magic. I love AP3 in smaller games. Combined with the Deathmarks wounding on 2+ for a single enemy unit, I suspect that this force might eat infantry targets at a decent clip.

… but is it enough?

What gives me pause:
Again, I am relying on Gauss to dent vehicles, and there is a notable lack of rending/power weaponry for close combat exchanges, and I am concerned this might be woefully debilitating. This force also feels rather delicate. It is elite, with a modest number of models on the table (again, those Destroyers are expensive). Is T5 enough to see these poor sods through? Will they get mangled in any potential close combat?

At this point, I almost don’t feel the need to say it, but will… I just don’t know.


HOTpanda said...

I am a big proponent for combat patrols as they decision making process for such a small force creates a unique environment. The restriction that are in place force one to think outside the sandbox and look for alternative avenues of approach.

Son of Dorn said...

Sounds like you're making the decision much harder than it should be. Deathmarks seem like a fun way to ruin other peoples' day.

"Just listen to your heart, Pedro. That's what I do..."

fullborer said...

Obviously all “in my opinion” – but I’m a bigger fan of List 111 because variety is the spice of gaming for me.

-the 2+ wounding ability isn’t as critical in CP since a lot of the high-toughness baddies will be excluded by the 2-wound-max rule (excepting swarms and Troops).
-AP3 is gold, you’re likely to run into at least one 3+ armor army (he said, jinxing himself)
-AV maxes out at 12 in CP, 11 for non-dedicated transports. I found it a small issue with marines. I would think it would be even smaller with your Gauss.
-Volume of fire is important, one of most dangerous CP armies is the max-number-of-models approach.

Like any event, you might not run into any of the really nasty armies, or you might have an unlucky day and meet three Rocks, when all you packed are Scissors.
So I vote for models you really like or plan to use again later (either as part of an army or KZ or something), over any kind of gimmick.

Sidebar concern – how will you be kitbashing the Tomb Blades you’re considering? There isn’t a stock model for that, is there? As I type this, Adepticon is 18 days away…

Brian said...

@ Panda. Quite Right. This whole net-listing exercise is quite new to me, but I'm starting to get it in a way that I never did before -the pure potential of it has me reeling.

@ Son of Dorn. Indeed. I am making this rather difficult. In part, I'm doing so to sustain the broader conversation, but in part I'm doing it to see what sticks. To be candid, I won't be taking the Deathmark duo... but the thought is rather fun.

@ Chris. Top Tips! every one of these. Thank you kindly.

As for the Tomb Blades, I have been experimenting a bit with DE bikes, but I've yet to make them suitably necrotic. Of course, failing an appropriate conversion, my list will need to compensate accordingly.

Cheers again.

Vinnie said...

nice blog love your figure nice paint job

fullborer said...

I've been thinking a command barge might be kitbash-able into two tomb blades, but i'm not familiar enough with the kit to say for sure...