Jens is back with more material! This time he is going to continue with the Wexio Spelkonvent theme. After searching his soul he finally decided to post his inner thoughts regarding his Shaltari army’s performance. Enjoy!
Hello, everybody! For this small series I will review the Shaltari army list I used at the Dropzone Commander tournament at Wexio 2014. The articles discusses the initial thought process followed by an evaluation and a final judgement on a battle group per battle group basis. Last this will be followed by some comments of the army list’s battle group composition and what I consider its strengths and weaknesses.
Let us get started.
Battle group composition
My battle group composition was constructed with the following first turn activation order in mind:
1st: Spearpoint battle group, the Yaris walk-on, the Firstborn remain on the mothership, activate one walk-on Haven.
2nd: Swordpoint battle group, the Tomahawks and the Birdeaters walk-on, activate one walk-on Haven. Use the Tomahawks to shoot a building.
3rd: Warrior clan, activate one Spirit and deploy a Braves squad into a building with an objective if possible. Keep the Dreamsnare to deploy on turn 2.
4th: Warrior clan, activate one Spirit and deploy a Braves squad into a building with an objective if possible. Fly on the Firedrake and try to kill something.
5th: Warfist battle group, activate both Edens to gate-in both Jaguars where needed.
6th: Council of Elders, the Coyote and the Ocelot walk-on. The Coyote try to bring some masonry down upon the enemy’s infantry.
I believe I made a good decision using six battle groups since six activations denied my opponent the opportunity to wait and activate essential battle groups. I am also rather satisfied with the way this army list is organised but believe I should have put the Dreamsnare in the Swordpoint battle group instead of one of the Warrior clans. This would have given me the option to move the Tomahawks and the Dreamsnare together; this would also have put my Birdeaters in a different battle group which could have given me the opportunity to deploy my anti-air and anti-tank in a different order.
My decision to keep the Jaguars separate were in my opinion a wise one and optimal, if would have had them in the same group they would not been able to establish on both flanks and therefore would have concentrated my units even more than I did, a flaw in my decision making during the tournament costing me objectives. Perhaps a third Jaguar will take the Ocelots place, giving me three independent powerhouses.
Battle group composition and squad allocation seems to play a good portion of the search for a good deployment order and versatility when deciding activations. I will spend some time refining my army composition in the future.
2x Eden, 2x Spirit and 4x Haven
The initial plan was to use the Edens to deploy my Jaguars mid-table and then use the Edens for rapid redeployment of the Ocelot. The Spirits was going to be my way of getting Braves and Firstbloods where they had to be and bringing objectives off-table, and using Havens to reinforce and function as back-doors.
The Edens performed as intended; they were a bit unutilized and could have been moving around the Dreamsnare a lot more to bring the shield boost where needed perhaps even protecting the whole army since its boost is given even if it gated. The Edens could also been used to move my Tomahawks or Birdeaters a lot more, it was a tactic I planned for and intended to implement but never actually used. I also made the mistake of not using the Edens in turn 3,4 and 6 making them static and only good for target practice. Thankfully I did not lose that many Edens and two Edens feel just the right amount if fielded with a Firedrake, its auxiliary gate makes sure the loss of one Eden is tolerable.
Moving on to the Spirit, I love the Spirit, it is fantastic plain and simple; its speed and passive save make it the perfect objective carrier. Just hit the deck and fly into the sunset, unless your opponent has fast movers. I do believe one more Spirit could be the way to go, but it may be too much since Command cards sometimes offer the opportunity to replenish a lost Spirit when you need it, if you are lucky. The Spirit should in my opinion always be included in a well-rounded Shaltari army list when infantry will play a key part.
What about the Havens? I did not use the Havens to their full potential, at 15 points each they move fairly quickly and is in my opinion an acceptable loss if taken out. I believe four of them were one or two to many though.
I never found myself a gate short and it does not matter to me that they aren’t armed, their utility is their weapon and purpose. Even though it means the gates will not participate in building demolition as some of the other transports might do, I believe they may go a bit unnoticed and not considered a threat enough to spend anti-air on when a Firedrake is fielded.
My standing impression of the gate mechanic is that it is refreshing and really fun. It is easy to learn the basics, but hard to master and plan correctly.
That is it for this time, more to come in part 2 next Thursday. Feel free to comment and question my reasoning, as a new player I appreciate tips and tricks.