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Steelwarriors & Thoragrim - a bit lacklustre?

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  • Steelwarriors & Thoragrim - a bit lacklustre?

    I 've recently start to review my troops in preparation for the escalation of armed engagements in size and ferocity, not only on planets affected by Containment Protocols, but also in other galactic theatres.That means: I 've been building lists to make the move from DZ to WP & a bit FF (as I prefer WP proper).

    So looking at my Forgefather options: If I expect close quarter fighting, I 'd get some Brokkr with Thermal rifles, if it's numbers I need, there 's the militia and better anti-infantry firepower is provided by Stormrage Veteran Brakkarim teams. The only thing Steelwarriors appear to having going for themselves is numbers in contrast (more teams in WP, more bodies in FF) to the veteran units and better armour compared to the auxilliary units like Brokkrs und Militia.
    However, the Drakkar's capacity of 2 teams (or 10 regular infantry in FF) offsets the former advantage a bit, Def 5+ and Res 4+ is easily overcome if you know what you're doing (speaking from experience: My Commandos with their outdated rifles proved pretty capable at neutralizing their augmented-human replacements during the final playtests.)

    Now I was wondering what 's your experiences with Steelwarriors?
    What could make Steelwarriors a more interesting choice?
    E.g. having Fire control on the Hailstorm rifles? This special ability seems woefully underused anyways (only GCPS Engineers grant it) and could give Steelwarriors a little boost.

    And while I like the looks of the new Thoragrim, their two-handed forgehammer lack the punch of the ones used by the Forgeguards in WP (no Blast), and I rather not waste half of my unit's team allowance to employ veteran melee troops as meatshields for their heavy gunner brethren, when I can get two of the later teams to increase their firepower.

  • #2
    Steel warriors fall in an odd place between cheap militia and Stormrage Veterans. The big problem is, as soon as you put any options on Steel warriors, you might as well have bought Veterans. Pretty big whole in the Army - you get less firepower, for almost the same points if you upgrade to a hailstorm cannon. I think what needs to happen is Brakkarim's need to go up in price a little, and Steel warriors down a little, but not sure by how much... perhaps make Brakkaim's 15 pts points more expensive, and steal warriors 5 or 10 cheaper... I think part of the problem is enforces need to cost more...

    Fire-control would be a good option for the leaders on Militia, Warriors and Veterans. perhaps make the leaders 5/10/20 points more expensive respectively for the honour.

    As far as Thoragrim's go - They have to go in a transport if you intend to use them offensively, since with movement 4 they can't reach anyone. And then, with the cost of the transport and only having two slots, you might as well go all out and cause hell by using forge guard instead. Thoragrim's could be used if you're strapped for points, or if you want cheapish combat units to defend other units from other combat units. The other problem is that with only 4 dice, you need two teams to cause any real damage - one unlucky roll will mean against most units you fail to make a kill.

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    • #3
      Thanks for your reply, MrPieChee. I got to agree with your first point, that the points are a bit off. There's another way to offset it: the attack dice. 4 dice is usually limited to long range hi-powered shooting (snipers & mortars), so adding 1-2 dice to the Steelwarriors might make them worthwhile taking, and give unaugmented teams some reliable damage output. Even when rolling above average, a single Steelwarrior team can't take ever hope to take out a slightly thougher (or shielded) unit like a single Commando team.
      Here's the math for single unaugmented SW team vs various unaugmengted opponents: VS a single Maraunder Commando team: 4 dice hitting on 4+, Ap1 vs Def 4+, Res 5, no chance of direct damage, even with all dice hitting and damaging. While the opposite (outdated rifles vs advanced armour in the galaxy) would work when rolling above average - 6 dice hitting on 3+ vs Def 5+,Res 4 (allowing 2 dice to fail). They would have a slighty better chance of taking out an Enforcer team Def 5+, Res 4 (all hit & all damage), but no chance of taking out a Cypher team (Shield 4+), (and the Rhekkyr share that problem). Of course, Cyphers cost about wice the price of steel warriors, but even then it 'd require above average rolling (at least 7 of 8 shots hitting and at least 3 sucessful damage rolls)
      In short, 4 dice alone don't feel like a hailstorm much, do they?

      Fire Control on the leaders would make them even more important than they are already - which makes taking other personnel upgrades even less appealing. That's something I struggle with, as having to add the leader personnel upgrade to get the +1 Ner and Leadership feels more like a tax than a conscious choice, before I can add an Artificer or Forgelord/Huscarl to go with them. And it would need at least another vanilla team as ablative meatshields to protect these investments, the unit's cost goes and it mobility decreases.
      I'm also no fan of Steelwarriors and Brokkr having only an unaugmented Nerve of 2,it just doesn't feel right.

      All in all, options to improve Steelwarrior would be
      - cost decrease, increase for Brakkarim, but that need balancing with Brokkr and Militia too.
      - +2 Dice on the Hailstorm rifles and Nerv 3 would help them a lot, and then we could see about new abilities being added by leaders.
      - Adding Fire Control for free to boost hits or...
      - Adding Shredder for free to boost damage.
      - finally, something more cosmetic and probably not solving anything: The option to add a single dragonbreath flamer, missile launcher or magma cannon instead of the Hailstorm autocannon.

      After all, Steelwarriors with Hailstorm rifles are the iconic Forgefather unit, more so than the specialized units we can choose from.

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      • #4
        Headstrong is pretty useful, and nerve 2 with it is better than three without. Keeping steel warriors nerve 2 allows more scope for the 'veterans'.

        I like the idea of steel warriors having more options, but I think the aesthetic that was aimed for with FF is to have specialist units/teams, hence the rekkhyrr team.

        Adding two more dice makes warriors more on par with enforcers, but I feel like they should differentiate more. FF feel to me like they should be able to lay down more fire, not less. Enforcers have more accuracy, so perhaps they do need more dice. But then that leads to 7 or 8 dice which then seems silly. Perhaps the fix is to make SW 6 and enforcers 5....

        Since they are both in the starter sets they should be well playtested together, so it should be easy to get some feedback on... If only it wasn't so quiet here!

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        • #5
          Headstrong is pretty useful, and nerve 2 with it is better than three without. Keeping steel warriors nerve 2 allows more scope for the 'veterans'.
          Agreed. Then again, I like to factor in one more comparision (apart from Enforcers & Marauder Commandos): Steelwarriors are on par with GCPS Veterans regarding Nerve, with the same Res and Accuracy, but they have better Def, range and AP1 for 2 attack dice less and being slower (offset by +2'' range on their rifles). Their weapon options are more limited (Autocannon or Rhekkyr teams vs Flamers, grenadelaunchers, heavy weapons), but their leaders pump up their Nerve by 1. All in all, the Acc4+ & 4 dice seem to be the obvious issue

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          • #6
            Marrionettes and night crawlers have 8 dice for 85pts and 30pts respectively, so it's probably not much of an imbalance at all to push them to 6, and 8 might work too.

            Night crawlers can only have units of one team, so normally can't add dice to a unit via more teams. They are also nerve 1. Marrionettes are the same stats, with an extra move, and sheilds in place of headstrong, and loose ap1.

            So, yes, 6 dice seems like an obvious change without having to change their points.
            Last edited by MrPieChee; 02-12-2017, 08:26 AM.

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