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I have been recently in Army Builder creating lists for my soon to be completed (for now) NCA sectorial force. When coming across the Locust I'm at odds on how to use him let alone place him in a list for missions. I was thinking about creating two conversions for my Locusts but I held off from doing so until I understand the unit better. So how do you Hyperpower players handle this unit in both Vanilla and/or NCA? Can you take two Locusts in NCA and still use them successfully or is just running one a better idea?

Looking forward to any information and example lists at any/all points levels (100-400) that you guys & gals come up with.

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15 minutes ago, Golem2God said:

I have been recently in Army Builder creating lists for my soon to be completed (for now) NCA sectorial force. When coming across the Locust I'm at odds on how to use him let alone place him in a list for missions. I was thinking about creating two conversions for my Locusts but I held off from doing so until I understand the unit better. So how do you Hyperpower players handle this unit in both Vanilla and/or NCA? Can you take two Locusts in NCA and still use them successfully or is just running one a better idea?

Looking forward to any information and example lists at any/all points levels (100-400) that you guys & gals come up with.

In my mind there's three profiles worth considering, the Boarding Shotgun, the Marksman Rifle and the Hacker.

The Boarding Shotgun:
logo_24.pngLOCUST Boarding Shotgun, Grenades, Drop Bears / Pistol, Shock CCW, Knife. (0 | 30)

This is an attack piece, pure and simple. It's there to act as a striker for those games where you have first turn and want to go for the throat. It works well with a Peacemaker and Garuda in NCA to put in a hard punch against the enemy order pool. This isn't something NCA is well known for and this can make it a particularly effective approach, catching opponents off guard. I especially like putting this guy into Group 1 and either a Peacemaker or Garuda into Group 2 with a decent number of orders and use one to cut a breach for the other to exploit.

The Marksman Rifle:
logo_24.pngLOCUST (Marksmanship L1) Marksman Rifle / Pistol, Shock CCW, Knife. (0 | 33)

This is a blend of midfield ARO piece and striker, depending on what you are facing and the terrain/deployment of your opponent. The Marksman Rifle has the rangebands and Infiltration to exploit height in the midfield to strike at enemy units who should be hidden but can be attacked from an advantageous angle. With optional Shock this unit is particularly good at picking off enemy Warbands before they turn into a threat. Better in the active turn (so a great turn 1 piece as well) but more useful than the Boarding Shotgun as an ARO tool as well (and a brilliant trap to draw Impetuous units into a direction their commander wasn't expecting).

The Assault Hacker: 
logo_24.pngLOCUST Hacker (Assault Hacking Device) Breaker Combi Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Shock CCW, Knife. (0.5 | 38)

Or, to give it it's proper title, the best toolbox unit in PanOceania (with perhaps one or two units competing). The issue here is cost, 38pts is a lot to sink into a 1 wound model without a marker state for safety (and low BTS for a hacker who will be so exposed). But the draw here is the ability to complete such a wide variety of classified missions and objectives in one package. In NCA it sings as the only other option for D-Charges, and the only Infiltrating specialist of any kind. But you need to bury it in a deep, dark hole if you aren't going first as it's not only a high priority target but it's also a real loss and a vulnerable piece. Don't overlook the Breaker Combi here, this adds real combat punch, but "UTILITY TOOLBOX" is the headline.

I've used and abused Locusts a LOT since they were released and while I'm now reluctant to run a pair of them in my NCA lists (it's a lot to invest into very vulnerable expensive pieces) I strongly disagree with those who write them off. I'm usually taking either the Boarding Shotgun as an attack piece in combat focused missions, or the Hacker as a key specialist in objective focused missions. Either way they can be very strong if used well (although they really do expose the comic undercosting of Camo and the marker state in the game).

In Vanilla I think the competition from the Croc Man for the specialist role is probably too strong to really take the Hacker seriously (although for Highly Classified the Infiltrating D-Charges are tempting). But the two attack options are still very viable and I think it's here, as part of an aggressive offense, that the Locust really shines outside of NCA.

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23 minutes ago, Barakiel said:

If you do not go first, his role changes dramatically.  i would keep him very close to my own DZ during deployment, keep a baggage bot in a position to potentially reload him, and use those Drop Bears to contest critical areas until a window opens for him to use that shotgun. 

Are you throwing Drop Bears in ARO in this example?

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2 minutes ago, Terrordactyl said:

Are you throwing Drop Bears in ARO in this example?

No, mostly just keeping the Locust hidden and alive so that he can help in subsequent turns :).  Obviously, without Suppressive Fire, he isn't very good at contesting the enemy via ARO.

I leave the AROing to TO units, linked Fusiliers and Fugazi, with the Locust using Drop Bears to have a defensive impact.  

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Ah, OK. That seemed like an odd choice so I wanted to make sure I was understanding. Thank you!

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1 hour ago, Barakiel said:

No, mostly just keeping the Locust hidden and alive so that he can help in subsequent turns :).  Obviously, without Suppressive Fire, he isn't very good at contesting the enemy via ARO.

I leave the AROing to TO units, linked Fusiliers and Fugazi, with the Locust using Drop Bears to have a defensive impact.  

To be fair a shotgun in 8" isn't a terrible ARO option, so while I try to do the same with my Locust (don't deploy too aggressively, cover him with other AROs) when taking the second turn I will fairly often use him to help close off one lane of approach as well. 

Just one with a solid 8" choke point he can defend with a Shotgun.

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Most has already been said, so there are just a few additions. 

1. Locusts suck at being secondary assault pieces. If you bring one, you better plan to spend Orders on him. There are better guys to add to your list as insurance policy. As it happens they are our hardest hitting forward deployment troops, so there shouldn't be much of a problem to find something for them to kill. The lack of Marker State means, they have problems not running into counters, eating DTWs or Spec Fire. A Croc or TOFO will serve you much better as a multipurpose troop. A Specialist with Mines and Surprise Shot + Combi is good enough to get the job done in a pinch. No reason to go for a less versatile and more vulnerable.

PanO is blessedsaturated with very capable (and expensive) Assault Pieces that easily outshine the Locust. As a result he is usually better suited for a second medium sized group, or a spammy list with 2 big Order pools.

2. Useful Profiles in Vanilla, basically only the BSG and regular Breaker Rifles do anything special for you. There are better ways to get an infiltrating Specialist. The Locust BSG has the problem that he can be dealt with by basically everything from MSVs, 5 points Chainrifle to any B3+ weapon outranging it. In the Locust's case his ODD protects him fairly well against the last one but expect him to waste an Order or two and then foldto whatever answer your Opponent can come up with. However the Locust (Breaker and BSG) are easily capable to take on troops much more expensive than him (if they don't have DTWs, are forced to Dodge or can be shot in the back).

Marksmanrifle is just too expensive, with PH12 and CC20 you should be close. paying 1 point over the Breaker Rifle for a Spitfire Rangeband Combi with Shock is just not worth it for 33 points. Considering the access PanO has to Multi Weapons, you'll want to pass. Especially because he has no way to prevent the usual Dogged Warbands to simply use Smoke as a defense. a Nisse HMG or Blackfriar MR do the same thing much better. Interesting Profile, but not the right platform (Multi Marksmanrifle woul have been nice, and not even much more expensive).

3. Useful Profiles in NCA. NCA lacks any sort of infiltrating Specialist so the Locust AHD is a big deal here. He brings all the advantages of the ODD + Breaker combination, D-Charges and an AHD to the table. All of which NCA has be creative to get otherwise. The Locus is still a bad platform for an AHD, especially the added vulnerability to KHDs and Hacking in general is pretty bad, on top of that he already pays for a lot of bloat and the extra stuff doesn't really help with making him any good. On the plus side with a Fusilier Link, spammable Rems and the Ability to run up to 20 Orders rather comfortably, a 0.5 SWC gunfighter Specialist is a good fit for a high body count list. 

Summing things up, the Locust is a capable 0 SWC aggression piece that wants to go first. Especially if SWC, crossing the board and disposable Turn 1 Firepower is needed he has his place. Special mention for Breaker vs Ariadna and Steel Phalanx. Spec Fire Grenades, Drop Bears or Breaker work wonders here.

 

 

 

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I agree with what other players said about the Locust, personally, I played it only a pair of times and always the marksmanship version, deploying in the middle of the table and killing with it small targets. ODD is amazing ( I'm also a Steel Phalanx player XD), but watch out for visors. If used wisely can be very deadly.

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I had one throw a Drop Bear into my DZ the other day, that was rude.

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8 hours ago, Flipswitch said:

I had one throw a Drop Bear into my DZ the other day, that was rude.

Wait 'till you have someone do that and then follow up with a Boarding Shotgun.

That's what I call FUN! :-D

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Yeah I had that coming and my Q-Drone promptly said "no thank you" to that bullshit.

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I must confess that I dislike the Locust. My go-to-toolbox is the combination of Black Friar and Swiss Guard Hacker for NCA. And when I'm playing vanilla I just pick the Crocman. The Locust is not a bad unit, I just consider him to be too costly for his lack of TO (and yes, I realise that I sound selfcontradictory when I mention the Swiss Guard as an alternative two sentences earlier B)).

 

 

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3 hours ago, Commoner1 said:

I must confess that I dislike the Locust. My go-to-toolbox is the combination of Black Friar and Swiss Guard Hacker for NCA. And when I'm playing vanilla I just pick the Crocman. The Locust is not a bad unit, I just consider him to be too costly for his lack of TO (and yes, I realise that I sound selfcontradictory when I mention the Swiss Guard as an alternative two sentences earlier B)).

Meh, Locust and Swiss have like nothing in common. One is PanO's most sturdy HI, sporting TO and BS 15 on top, for twice the points with 3 amazing Profiles available, the other is an unhackable Infiltrator with ODD that dies to a stiff breeze. Neither the Swiss nor the BF can do what a Locust does, He isn't my favourite troop and I'd almost always prefer a TO Infiltrator over him, but he is unique enough to bring him once in a blue moon.

Locust TL:DR - quite good if you have turn 1, quite meh if you don't.

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Isn't he super-vulnurable to any kind of WB incoming if Locust go 2nd ? (so basicly if you go 2nd you cannot use infiltration unless there's some really defensive building somewhere)

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@Teslarod

Yes, you are absolutely right. I phrased it poorly but I meant to say that I don't need a Locust when I can use a Crocman in vanilla. And in NCA I'd rather skip the Skirmisher part completely because we have much better, less vulnerable non-infiltrating choices like the Swiss or Hexa while the toolbox part is easily covered by the Black Friar.

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I love the Locust's DB/Grenade trick (which the the Croc Man can't do) but I'm much less enthused about taking the other profile options. I like the Marksman in theory, but it hasn't worked for me on the table.

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20 hours ago, Eciu said:

Isn't he super-vulnurable to any kind of WB incoming if Locust go 2nd ? (so basicly if you go 2nd you cannot use infiltration unless there's some really defensive building somewhere)

One trick is to have a Hexa sniper covering the approaches to the Locust for some surprise ARO, but it is not always easy to put in place on every board...

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1 hour ago, Volgo said:

One trick is to have a Hexa sniper covering the approaches to the Locust for some surprise ARO, but it is not always easy to put in place on every board...

"The best way to victory is always trapped."

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That's a good example of why I find smoke-tossing to be NCA's biggest threat.  We can definitely watch the back of any units playing forward, since we have Fusiliers and plenty of Hidden Deployment.  The second smoke hits the table though, things get more difficult, and we have to rely on the less-than-perfect method of "MSV units in Suppressive Fire" to try and protect them (a solution I really dislike, especially since there's so much Eclipse out there now.)  In fact, my frustration at dealing with this unit type is one of the main reasons I started playing Acontecimento (mines for daaaaaays.)

It's also one reason why I've been steering more and more away from ODD units (even great ODD units, like the Bulleteer) and relying more on TO.  I've been including Hexa KHD since it was released, but now I'm using other Hexa profiles more and more.  That TO Camo state is a great way of costing a warband a few extra Orders to go after your valuable unit, and that kind of cost is often more than an opponent is willing to pay just to get a 6-point warband up the table.

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The best use of the locust I have had has been the BS, Grenade, Dropbear profile. He's a great speed bump. Yes 30 points is pricy, yes smoke sucks, but no one really wants to come around a corner and meet a shotgun wielding ODD guy. And during your active turn you have the pure joy of throwing dropbears and grenades at people.

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On 20/06/2017 at 8:50 PM, Barakiel said:

That's a good example of why I find smoke-tossing to be NCA's biggest threat.  We can definitely watch the back of any units playing forward, since we have Fusiliers and plenty of Hidden Deployment.  The second smoke hits the table though, things get more difficult, and we have to rely on the less-than-perfect method of "MSV units in Suppressive Fire" to try and protect them (a solution I really dislike, especially since there's so much Eclipse out there now.)  In fact, my frustration at dealing with this unit type is one of the main reasons I started playing Acontecimento (mines for daaaaaays.)

It's also one reason why I've been steering more and more away from ODD units (even great ODD units, like the Bulleteer) and relying more on TO.  I've been including Hexa KHD since it was released, but now I'm using other Hexa profiles more and more.  That TO Camo state is a great way of costing a warband a few extra Orders to go after your valuable unit, and that kind of cost is often more than an opponent is willing to pay just to get a 6-point warband up the table.

:(

 

I normally play with a coworker who regularly plays ISS. 4 kuang shi minimum, most recently going up to 6 or 7. Smoke and MSV2 has become his new favourite thing, and my sectorial of choice is Neoterra. I might try less ODD and more TO, like you say, to see how it comes together.

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7 hours ago, Superfluid said:

I normally play with a coworker who regularly plays ISS. 4 kuang shi minimum, most recently going up to 6 or 7. Smoke and MSV2 has become his new favourite thing, and my sectorial of choice is Neoterra. I might try less ODD and more TO, like you say, to see how it comes together.

Makes sense.  I like the TO Camo for missions where I know I have to occupy/dominate zones (Supremacy, Frontline, etc.) or if I expect the terrain might be very open.  Open terrain sometimes occurs at tournaments I go to in young metas.  Since NCA obviously can't use smoke to cross open lanes, having TO Camo gives me more freedom to maneuver without having to engage in a gunfight any time I want to move.

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