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About Barakiel

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  • Birthday 03/22/1986


  • Location Oakland, CA


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  1. Hmm? But it's part of the game. It's how the game was designed. It's actually how PanO is balanced as well. PanO's lack of smoke/lack of basic Camo becomes a lot less egregious when you imagine Nisse, Aquila, even the Friar Sniper using Visors in conjunction with terrain to retain their stable BS. It's actually an entire aspect of PanO's design ethos that goes completely overlooked. I still think that PanO overpays for Visors since Smoke + MSV2 is an element that's denied them, but the absence of Smoke + MSV2 is compensated for a bit when you're doing precisely what's mentioned above. Besides, as with most things that appear initially broken... You suddenly realize that half a dozen soft counters exist that let you work around it. After all, a flamethrower is really good at firing into dense underbrush to hit a target that's hiding there. Units with Visors suddenly become good at attacking other units with Visors that are hiding in terrain. There's a whole range of rules, equipment and units that become more helpful when terrain rules are being used by the community.
  2. In that example vs the Peacemaker, the Peacemaker may have a Shotgun and definitely has a Flamethrower Auxbot. Exposing yourself in order to shoot probably means taking your chances with both a shotgun blast and a direct template hit, both of which are bad situations. If you throw grenades though, the Bot can't harm you with any of its AROs.
  3. We've been using terrace gardens or planters with foliage as most common alternate terrain type. You can put these on a rooftop or to break up an open courtyard or street, giving players the choice of utilizing them if they want to. For example, if you have a standard urban rooftop, you can add some plants to one half and designate is as a terrain type, and have the other half of the rooftop be clear. This gives players a lot of choice about whether they want to utilize the terrain or not. Something like a Nisse HMG is going to be pretty happy sitting in that garden and shooting out of it, adding a little more depth and complexity to the game but still allowing players to use the urban terrain that they own. This helps to put some power back in the hands of visor units since they can stack modifiers in a new and interesting way, without having to theme your entire table as a jungle board.
  4. That's where terrain rules are meant to come in and return some value to MSV. When you have MSV handling Camo/ODD units and offsetting negative modifiers from different terrain types, it becomes much better.
  5. Interesting thoughts. I think the reason that people question ORCs to begin with is that they're lacking a unique equipment option. Even the most "vanilla" of Vanilla heavy Infantry, such as Brigada or Janissaries, have something pretty cool going on in terms of unique assets. Brigada get a flamethrower and some pretty impressive capabilities for their Hacker when linked. They also have a missile launcher. Janissaries get a Doctor (amazing for Heavy Infantry teams) and also have that missile launcher, plus Haqq's access to light shotguns and the all the flexibility that being in QK entails. Even Suryats manage to get a HRL (arguably the game's best linkable weapon imo) as well as unique Vulkan Shotguns and useful BTS 6. Each of these units is pricey, but you're still getting something quite unique that enhances the flavor and feel of the faction they represent. As far as the Montessa, the advantage there of course is how few orders it takes for the Montessa to be lobbing grenades at a target in an enemy DZ. A montessa can realistically start spec firing in the +3 band on the second Order of the game, and even less if the opponent has moved forward or infiltrated. That's extreme Order efficiency. ORCs obviously require many more orders to get within the 8 inch +3 thrown grenade rangeband. For High PH... Janissaries have PH 14 too, but it's natural for them to have some bloat simply because of Hafza are quite a big deal and let them shave off considerable points spent in obtaining 5-man link bonuses. Even Suryats can gain a bit of discount when it comes to forming their links. Brigada are really the only question mark, since they don't have Haris or a way of shaving points off the team. Though the aforementioned idea that they have some cool, flexible profiles still stands.
  6. Simple fragmentation grenades would be great for ORCs. A cheap upgrade point-wise, but suddenly that +1 PH is worth something and gives PanO a pretty unique attack vector. CB already seems to like coupling PanO profiles with grenades in a novel fashion, since we have the rare HGL on the Squalo, the Kamau lgl + x-visor is pretty unique, and the Regular hacker + LGL is novel as well. Let ORCs apply their PH towards throwing something, and suddenly that PH increase fits the PanO ethos of "hurting things with efficiency."
  7. I agree that restricting albedo to the MULTI Rifle only was a tough choice. I understand CB's apprehension for giving a very effective anti-MSV tool (Friar Sniper with Albedo) to PanO faction/Sectorials that have amazing TO and ODD choices. The game has so many counters to TO and ODD that don't rely on MSV though... I don't know. They didn't hesitate giving Albedo to Drakios, who is a pretty good long range gunfighter with a Red Fury for effective 28 inch range per order, in a Sectorial full of ODD and Smoke against whom MSV is even more useful. I don't know what to think there, which makes me cringe a bit perceived bias against PanO.
  8. Dang. Must be nice when opponents leave their TR Rems visible from over 32 inches away. Where I play, TR Rems tend to hide Turn 1, wait for Marksmanship Level 2, then spend the next 2 turns covering a key 16-32 inch lane where they can't be outranged. I have to point out... I appreciate the irony of players saying "deploy your snipers better", then presenting examples where their opponent deploys a TR/Neurocinetics unit like an idiot and gives a sniper a perfect long-range shot. Smart players don't play that way in either situation. Just to throw my hat into the ring here: When Snipers can't use a range advantage, they create an advantage by stacking negative modifiers. Factions with Smoke + MSV2 Snipers do this by shooting through Smoke. Awesome units like the Spec Sergeant or Hexa can stack big modifiers, especially with surprise shot (so valuable when using a low Burst weapon like a Sniper Rifle in the active turn.) That's why these TO units are a popular staple for many, many lists, and the Black Friar is not. That isn't to say the Black Friar is useless... But in PanO, it is always operating at a fundamental disadvantage compared to MSV2 + Smoke or TO units. It is dependent on the circumstances of the table to create an advantage, rather than being able to provide an advantage for itself. That's why I don't like it, that's why I don't use it. To invoke one of IJW's mantras, which I completely agree with: Terrain rules are important, and help make Visor units appropriately priced and competitive. But the moment I travel outside of my meta (Bay Area, California) we tend to see very few terrain rules being used. So, sadly, Visor units remain at a disadvantage compared to Mimetism/Camo/TO/ODD units. A question to the pro Black Friar crowd: none of you mentioned terrain rules, which is the only way I can see the Friar mathematically competing with the TO options in a situation where both sides aren't playing like fools. What are your terrain setups like? Is it easy to consistently outrange players from over 32 inches? Sidenote: I think anyone referencing an Intruder can pretty much excuse themselves from the conversation, since that unit has the best of all possible worlds when it comes to fabricating favorable gunfighting situations for themselves. Negative modifiers, surprise shot, marker state, MSV2, smoke access is amazing.
  9. I think people also forget that Fusiliers are only AVA 5 in NCA...
  10. I hear the logic. Just to offer... I would very much use a Bolt Engineer. I often leave the Machinist behind because 18 points is just a huge investment when NCA offers so much else for those points. But with Haris where you want 3 profiles... And Engineer available within that Haris... I wouldn't require any rule change to Bolts if they had engineer and Haris. I would certainly use them as they are. And I think that's major testament to the fact that Bolts and their rules aren't just the problem, but rather the format or role they can occupy within an NCA list. Just a quick note on Fusiliers, there's so much chat about how great they are. They ARE great, but I also think all linetroopers links are amazing and underappreciated across all Sectorials (including alguaciles.) I just don't think +1 or -1 BS is enough of a big deal to distract from a link or unit's overall role.
  11. I don't think the Bagh Mari is bad in vanilla. I definitely don't mind losing 1 point of BS and 1 level of MSV compared to a Nisse to basically gain an whole order's worth of points back. Also... Stereotypes, like PanO players wanting to minmax, are easy to apply to people who disagree with you. But I caution against it. Edit to elaborate: I just don't think it does anything for the community, since most of us all play different factions anyway. Besides, the comparison to both Grenzers and Securitate is flawed; both units have yet to receive their Sectorial, and we already know the Securitate is likely to undergo a massive redesign. It's great that players like those units. But can you see how commenting on the current rules for Bolts is different than discussing the current rules for, say, Kamau?
  12. Medium Infantry are really the worst unit type in the game for midfield fighting and CQB. They're the slowest unit type, their PH is indifferent, their armor isn't good enough to reliably survive a Chain Rifle, and they only have 1 Wound. And here we have a unit that's theoretically equipped for such a role.Think about Bagh Mari or Rodoks, two examples of great Medium Infantry links. They aren't great because they do CQB... They're great because they absolutely rock at long range engagements, then they have the tools to help survive CQB if the situation calls for it. They're perfectly designed to establish dominance in the opening turns, then advance and do work in the midfield once they have control of the game. When you buy Medium Infantry, you aren't paying for an all-rounder; you're investing in a unit that performs one or two roles extremely well, at the cost of being 1 Wound and slow. Nisse, Intruders, Djanbazan, these are other examples of staple, popular Medium Infantry because they have one clearly defined role and they're great at it. Notice that they all have qualities in common? Bolts just happened to be assigned a role that their unit type is not good at; they have to march straight up the table for maximum efficacy, and that's a place where I'd rather have TO Camo or Heavy infantry (two realms where NCA happens to excel.) If Bolts weren't Medium Infantry, but instead were a new Light Infantry classification that lost the rule specialization of Medium Infantry (so drop +1 BS, drop BioImmunity, drop Veteran) then they'd be great. The shift to 4-4 MOV would fit their aggressive midfield role, they'd lose 3-4 points of bloat , and we'd see them all the time as the CQB alternative to Fusiliers. I apologize for running off the rails here. When Bolts first came out, I defended them because there were lots of examples of less-than-optimal profiles in every army and sectorial, and it didn't seem so out of place. But N3 and Human Sphere N3 have aggressively optimized a lot of units (which is a great thing) but Bolts were strangely left behind, and I think that's a shame.
  13. I think I missed something. Why are we comparing QK and NCA lists? They seem very different, with varied strengths. QK players would probably point at the amazing TO, Combat REMs and ultra-heavy infantry. NCA players would point at MSV+Smoke, Yuan Yuan and abundance of modular Core/Haris link options.
  14. Rodoks or Unidrons can do fine in a defensive capacity. Unidrons with supportware and link bonuses can help offset the penalties of NCA's TO. The Mimetism on Rodoks hurts NCA TO units as wells. You wouldn't want to leave either unit just sitting out exposed, but once you've had a turn to try and lure out threats and get the game moving, you can start taking some risks with these links to help contest important areas of the table. The odds are still in favor of a Swiss HMG, but vs any other Swiss loadout or a Hexa, the probability starts to swing back towards your link in being able to connect with a dangerous missile or plasma sniper shot. Your opponent will have to think carefully about whether it's worth the risk of tackling those kinds of very dangerous AROs. Generally though, you'll be happiest if you do your gunfighting in the active turn, and force your opponent to waste his own Orders by dealing with mines and other order-consuming threats that don't involve putting your models in harm's way.
  15. Well that's certainly one opinion. For Burst 1 weapons like Drop Bears or missile launchers though, getting +1 Burst is a radical improvement. +3 BS on top of that is more of a marginal improvement... Good but certainly not as great as +1 Burst. So I think it's logical to have a little redundancy in the group to maintain your +1 Burst, but not necessarily worth reaching for +3 BS. Well said.