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Maugarath D'harq
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PostSubject: Against MSU   Sat Oct 27 2012, 14:41

Without wanting to sound whiny or merely a bad sport, I find that MSU based armies wreck the game.

The MSU idea in itself is not bad, I even run two squads of five wyches in my standard lists as well as two footslogging darklance trueborn units of 3 men,which is about as small a unit as you can get. Where MSU becomes inappropriate is when it becomes the basis for an entire army.

At its most basic the MSU army is about finding a unit that deals great damage for points, and spamming it to death. This seems to wreck the theme of WH40K for me, which is about each player's army of individual units, in theory each game should be different because no players' armies are the same. Even more, WH40K can be extremely fun due to the unique exploits of a single squad, a single lychguard squad ripping through an entire army without dying is something fun you can remember (I do. It was awful.).

By contrast if the 4th 5 man interceptor squad in a plasmaback shoots & acts in exactly the same way as the other three (or more) isn't that comparatively dull? There's nothing special or unique about plasmaback No. 4, and given the extreme similarity in most MSU based armies there isn't much uniqueness about the entire army. One razorback spam looks rather a lot like another razorback spam. To be honest I find little difference between razorback spam and venomspam, and those are pretty different vehicles.

Even worse, the MSU armies are VERY hard to beat with most non-MSU armies, for reasons we all know and I need not go into. This puts pressure on those more interesting armies to conform, and as a result in the grim darkness of the far future it seems that most armies are the same.

In Conclusion
The MSU tactic robbs the gameboard of uniqueness and a large measure of the game's fun-ness. While I'm not accusing you of being WAAC players yet, I do think we (Not TDC specifically, just the entire community in general) may have sacrificed a large portion of what makes this game great purely for the momentary thrill of winning.

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PostSubject: Re: Against MSU   Sat Oct 27 2012, 16:56

What is the "theme" of 40k, and if spam wasn't part of the theme why don't hey restrict it.

I would also note that all real world armies that I'm aware of "spam" their good stuff over and over - because it's good stuff.

I also think there are a number of competitive non-MSU armies out there that can wreck MSU armies.

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PostSubject: Re: Against MSU   Sat Oct 27 2012, 20:57

There are a lot of misconceptions about spam. I feel like the word "spam" is becoming the new "comp" or "WAAC" the way I see it brandished about all the time. Spam is anti fun man, spam is not cool, spam is so broken etc.

There is nothing wrong with fielding multiple of the same unit, it's called redundancy and it's one of the fundamental concept to being a successful 40k general. "Spam" isn't always optimal either. For example I run three units of 9 reavers because it's fun, not because it's more effective, in fact it would be far more effective for me to run two units of 9 reavers and free up extra points for other stuff.

Some players enjoy the bigger picture, if running 6 venoms lets you dance around the enemy and finish them off with an awesome pincer move, and that's what you enjoy the most in the game then play it!

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Maugarath D'harq
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PostSubject: Re: Against MSU   Mon Oct 29 2012, 02:34

Mushkilla wrote:

There is nothing wrong with fielding multiple of the same unit, it's called redundancy and it's one of the fundamental concept to being a successful 40k general. "Spam" isn't always optimal either. For example I run three units of 9 reavers because it's fun, not because it's more effective, in fact it would be far more effective for me to run two units of 9 reavers and free up extra points for other stuff.
My apologies for the length of this post. It's been a bit of a rant.

I bring this up because I had a game last weekend with a grey knights player fielding 4 squads of 5 men in razorbacks, and some other cheap stuff in razorbacks. I actually won the game, but on kill-points, with nothing but a venom left alive on turn 5 when the game (mercifully) ended. Unfortunately, that game was followed by a game against... ... A bunch of 5 man warrior squads in venoms. No Ravagers, No raiders, no flyers, just venoms, and warriors/trueborn with blasters. Needless to say I lost. Guy didn't even use his warriors much, just wiped me with a group of identical skimmers. Those lists have gone past redundancy. They're based on a single unimaginative tactic of exploiting weaknesses in game balance to the point where it's actually painful.
And I found those games to be two of the most boring I've ever played. Each turn was pretty-much identical, and I really got no sense of achievement from killing anything. One down, 5 to go 'sigh'. I don't need other people for that, I can devise a list of 8 night scythes on my own. I find it more entertaining to go up against other people's unique armies, units and tactics, rather than cut/paste transport heavy lists.

My point is that fielding multiple of the same unit isn't a problem. It's when the entire army is based on one or two things. A three reaver army is awesome, because the reavers add a unique edge to what I'm sure is a varied list of other units such as ravagers and Kabalites, creating a game that is unlikely to be like any other. An army stuffed to the gills with the same unit (purely because they're the most competitive) is dull and unimaginative these days, because it's done so often.

It's even started to reflect in our tactics. Check the tactics sub-forum. How many of them basically go 'pop the inevitable transport swarm, get to the sweet sweet candy inside, make sure you have enough transports to survive turn 1'?

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PostSubject: Re: Against MSU   Mon Oct 29 2012, 02:50

If you want to try to boil down tactics though - here is my all purpose super tactical guide to everything 40k

Shoot the mech with anti-tank weaponry.
Shoot infantry with anti-infantry weaponry.
Kill your opponent faster than he kills you.
Remember to bring troops for objectives and claim them prior to game end.

Done.

There are a number of spam armies out there that I find to be incredibly fun to fight (immediate thought is anything Tyranid and Ork Kan Wall) Both are super fun, are not hyper competitive, and are spam heavy. At that point, is 'spam' really the issue?

Kan Wall ignores MSU, so maybe MSU is the issue?

No, because If I field 3 Reavers, 5 Scourges, 5 Incubi, 5 Bloodbrides, 5 Warriors, and 5 Wyches I'm MSU but anyone who says I'm bringing a boring and repetitive list is being a dweeb.

So it's not MSU and it's not spam...is it just then the specific meeting point of the two? Spamming a certain MSU unit?

I don't personally think so, because though something like Deathwing is spammy and MSU, I also think it's fluffy and pretty cool and interesting to fight. DoA too (though it's a pain to stomp sometimes)

I'll admit that I feel your stated issue is 'I don't like to play people who spam identical units that are good'.
At that point my answer is 'adjust who you play with'. There are not many competitive games where people will not repeat a winning strategy, and taking multiple units that are good at something that helps you win the game is a viable and appropriate strategy to my mind.

There are tournaments out there that grade on Composition and puncish identical units, if you like to play competitively and avoid spam competitive MSU then maybe those are what you should look for. Certainly for fun games it should be no issue to find people willing to play the way you want to play. But I don't see the "problem" as being anything more than personal opinion. That's not trying to sound dismissive, but to restate it - I feel your issue is about on the same level as players who are offended playing unpainted armies. They have a certain set of values going in to play the game (they want it to look attractive and immersive, and unpainted models ruins that for them) I feel you have the same outlook (you want the game to be varied with lots of interesting matchups available). Neither opinion is a bad one, and neither opinion isn't true within its own scope - but neither opinion is so true that the game needs to adjust itself on a fundamental level to cater to that particular view in my opinion.

I'd advise you to vet your opponents and overall enjoy your game more. Remember, it's a game and you shouldn't need to play with people you don't enjoy playing no matter what the reason is.

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PostSubject: Re: Against MSU   Mon Oct 29 2012, 06:47

Mushkilla wrote:
There are a lot of misconceptions about spam. I feel like the word "spam" is becoming the new "comp" or "WAAC" the way I see it brandished about all the time. Spam is anti fun man, spam is not cool, spam is so broken etc.

There is nothing wrong with fielding multiple of the same unit, it's called redundancy and it's one of the fundamental concept to being a successful 40k general. "Spam" isn't always optimal either. For example I run three units of 9 reavers because it's fun, not because it's more effective, in fact it would be far more effective for me to run two units of 9 reavers and free up extra points for other stuff.

Some players enjoy the bigger picture, if running 6 venoms lets you dance around the enemy and finish them off with an awesome pincer move, and that's what you enjoy the most in the game then play it!

Spot on, same with what Thor wrote above.

When I play turnement I play Venomspam or Raider spam, whatever I feel for.

But playing with friends I play alot of Fun lists with things like Reavers, Scourges and stuff that isnt that competitive... Its a game, play it the way you want and against the people that play it the way you want. My friends are a Competitive group, and then we play alot of MSU and competitive, but we can also field fun lists from times to times

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Maugarath D'harq
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PostSubject: Re: Against MSU   Mon Oct 29 2012, 07:18

Very well. I admit that you people are probably at least as smart as I am, so I will agree that there is more to the MSU than I gave it credit for.

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PostSubject: Re: Against MSU   Mon Oct 29 2012, 09:58

There is a reason that people do 'MSU' or 'Spam' or whatever we want to call it and that is that there is often one choice in a particular FOC slot that stands out as being the "best" for whatever reason. Whether it's because it's cheap or powerful or whatever. If there is such a choice then it would make sense to take more than one of them as, by definition, anything else from that FOC slot is "worse". 5th edition was the king of this mainly due to the absolute superiority of transports where you bought a minimum size unit so you could get access to the transport!

6th is moving us away from this and towards infantry, which will hopefully encourage some sort of diversity. It also means that my 50 BA assault troops can come out to play more often, although the 50% reserves rule has made DoA very difficult to pull off.

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PostSubject: Re: Against MSU   Mon Oct 29 2012, 10:15

When you look at our fire power we have DL's for mech and SC's for infantry - that is pretty much all.

When you look at what ways to get these onto the field, it looks like you are "spamming" units ie: Venoms.

I spent some part of the weekend analysing the costs of fielding certain weapons; most cost efficient way of getting stuff on the board.

We don't have a huge weapons cache to pick from when preparing for battle. Gotta make the most of what little we have and if that means I'm getting 3 Wracks to unlock a Venom, x6 of them, then so be it because from 24"-48" away (including movement) this build is superior. At inside 12" the most cost effective unit is 5 Warriors, Rapid Firing out of a Venom.

Now it comes down to play style. I prefer to play the range game, keep my opponent as far back as possible, so I'm looking at the most cost effective way of shooting at max range - even including the Haemie, 6 units of 3 Wracks win. But when the opponent gets into 24", 5 Warriors in Venoms are better.....it all comes down to playstyle my friend

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PostSubject: Re: Against MSU   Tue Oct 30 2012, 02:42

I get what you're saying, and honestly while there are always exceptions where you might not run all your Troops the same but 3 each of two configs, 2 each of three units, or some other thing, it's often because of diminishing returns. The whole point of it is... if it worked well the first time, keep doing it! It's basic human instinct. Look at Pavlov's dogs.

Thankfully the game is getting more interesting. Before, Mechanizing - AKA putting in an APC - infantry was mandatory, outside a couple armies. Now there are options, and Mech is a trade-off. If anything, allies are becoming the new Mech - when you can cover your achilles heel so easily, or focus and maximize your strengths, it becomes hard not to justify taking them. MSU is still here though, even without Mech.

MSU is just a fact of optimization - take the minimum you need to get the job done, repeat until it stops working. If that bores you, but you still enjoy the game, there are other options.

You could just run a more potpurri list, the way you want. Yeah, you'd struggle a bit, but maybe you'd be happier overall.

There's also allies. If you have issues with taking non-DE models, consider making this an extensive conversion project. Orks could be modeled as some Haemonculi coven's horrific experiments, as long as they're holding something that could pass for a Shoota and occupy the same general volume as an Ork. Some cheap, thin chain and paper clips make nice mon-keigh chain-gangs; give them some lasguns and a Succubus with a whip and that could work as a counts-as IG platoon.

Finally, you could model each squad differently. Maybe one squad got stuck in a Daemon quarantined webway tunnel for too long and went mad, and adorned themselves with Harlequin iconography as they used ritual dance and theater of the Eldar to keep the Daemons away. Perhaps another squad is obsessed with preserving flesh (to better inflict pain?) and has a lot of undead motifs and skulls attached, or extra flesh rag bitz.
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PostSubject: Re: Against MSU   Tue Oct 30 2012, 04:12

My D.E. Army build might be considered a venomspam. 5 venoms, 1 with an Archon and 4 truebore, the other four with 5 kabalite warriors. Taken not because of the str of a venom, but I like the idea of small groups doing drive byes, while the biker gangs hit you with slightly heavier weapons, and the "tanks" stay out of range blasting at you to keep you pinned down while these other units are shooting in to your flanks, and back. The heavy support slots motivating you to stay in cover while the maneuver elements (the rest of this army) flanks and kills you off.

That is Basic American Infantry tactics. The Heavy weapons (SAWs or 240b) laying down suppression fire, the rest of the element moves in to a superior position, and wipes out the enemy. To say MSU is bad tactics, is incorrect. You can do more real world tactics with MSU then any other army build, unless you are very familiar with Large unit tactics.

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PostSubject: Re: Against MSU   Wed Oct 31 2012, 09:17

ravengoescaw wrote:
That is Basic American Infantry tactics. The Heavy weapons (SAWs or 240b) laying down suppression fire, the rest of the element moves in to a superior position, and wipes out the enemy. To say MSU is bad tactics, is incorrect. You can do more real world tactics with MSU then any other army build, unless you are very familiar with Large unit tactics.
I didn't say it was bad tactics, just unimaginative and over-used. Also, while in some ways MSU is broken as heck that's just the way any game as complex as this is, it's up to us to just deal with the WAAC players and have fun anyway, and I think I see that a little better now.

Agahnim wrote:
You could just run a more potpurri list, the way you want. Yeah, you'd struggle a bit, but maybe you'd be happier overall.

There's also allies.
What on Earth is Potpurri? BTW Allies is my favorite part of the game. I collected Eldar extensively before I deviated to Commoragh, and with the new rules I can bring in some of my old favorite units. I have the worst painted striking scorpions in the world, and now they walk the table again! I've even re-painted my swooping hawks.

Laughing at that 'deathwing are MSU', because we all know how easy it is to spam the most expensive terminators ever? Made my day.

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PostSubject: Re: Against MSU   Wed Oct 31 2012, 14:14

Maugarath D'harq wrote:
Agahnim wrote:
You could just run a more potpurri list, the way you want. Yeah, you'd struggle a bit, but maybe you'd be happier overall.

There's also allies.
What on Earth is Potpurri?

I think he means mixed list, as in how potpurri is a mix of herbs and spices

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PostSubject: Re: Against MSU   Wed Oct 31 2012, 15:08

Maugarath D'harq wrote:
Laughing at that 'deathwing are MSU', because we all know how easy it is to spam the most expensive terminators ever? Made my day.
They are though.

MSU is - multiple small units.
not - multiple affordable small units.

Deathwing feilds multiple small units of Termies last I checked - it is an MSU list. Whether or not it is a good list is another conversation entirely.

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PostSubject: Re: Against MSU   Thu Nov 01 2012, 01:17

Thor665 wrote:
Maugarath D'harq wrote:
Laughing at that 'deathwing are MSU', because we all know how easy it is to spam the most expensive terminators ever? Made my day.
They are though.

MSU is - multiple small units.
not - multiple affordable small units.

Deathwing feilds multiple small units of Termies last I checked - it is an MSU list. Whether or not it is a good list is another conversation entirely.
I'm not having a go at you. I just found it funny. One of my friends plays a full deathwing list (nothing but terminators) and its funny (to me at least) to compare those big nigh on un-killable units to a group of 5 warriors in a venom. Seriously, does no-one else find that funny?

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PostSubject: Re: Against MSU   Thu Nov 01 2012, 06:21

Maugarath D'harq wrote:
Thor665 wrote:
Maugarath D'harq wrote:
Laughing at that 'deathwing are MSU', because we all know how easy it is to spam the most expensive terminators ever? Made my day.
They are though.

MSU is - multiple small units.
not - multiple affordable small units.

Deathwing feilds multiple small units of Termies last I checked - it is an MSU list. Whether or not it is a good list is another conversation entirely.
I'm not having a go at you. I just found it funny. One of my friends plays a full deathwing list (nothing but terminators) and its funny (to me at least) to compare those big nigh on un-killable units to a group of 5 warriors in a venom. Seriously, does no-one else find that funny?

I find it very funny when they die to my 5 warriors in venom Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Against MSU   Sat Jan 26 2013, 20:13

MSU is good, in so far as its different from DEATHSTAR / herohammer
But its bad in so far as it replicates the Hero effect using a small squad.

I'd argue my 6 assault squads in rhinos with dual meltas arent "small units" but they are spam, they also arent that scary to face.


The problem here is simply that the grey knights codex is inherently broken.

I cant imagine people complaining about 5 woman wych units in Venoms, because down venons will annihilate the squad.
Blown Razors will probably have been empty anyway.

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PostSubject: Re: Against MSU   Tue Feb 05 2013, 09:26

a 1.5k venom spam army- just did some calculations

1x archon w/blaster

1x 4 blasterborn (venom w/ 2x S.C.)

2x 3 blasterborn (venom w/ 2x S.C.)

5x 5 warriors w/ blasters (venom w/ 2x S.C.)

2x Ravagers w/NS (3x DL)

1x Ravager (3x DL)

1.5k points. 11 vehicles- 16 blasters, 9 Dark Lances for anti-tank, 84 venom splinter cannon shots for anti-infantry. (just remember to tell your opponent which ravager doesn't have an NS)

Also quite generalist all comers list. general tactics (theory), rush towards enemy, move from cover to cover if possible, poke with dark lances, and finish with blasters. blasterborn are valuable units and should be judicially used. Should any infantry lose any transport, or not be in cover at any point in time, hurl up to 84 splinter cannon shots per turn from the venoms (spread across the battlefield). And with 11 (albeit fragile) targets to choose from, the enemy will have to distribute fire wisely, and more if you disembark troops and letting them sit inside cover.

This list also too has some problems- relatively poor synergy with power from pain, lack of ability to directly contest objectives are some of them, and for most of its anti-tank power, it requires fighting at a potentially unsafe distance (hence use blasters to finish off vehicles rather- also get pain tokens), also not factoring in lack of ability to dislodge an enemy from cover due to lack of templates/blasts.

So take that into account, and plan counterplay accordingly. For maximum damage, the Venoms have to eventually drive up close and personal, exposing AV10 to all comers. Smash it with everything you got. Because of the MSU nature of this army combined with weak armor saves, any explosion can easily kill half the squad, if not all of it, which will be common thanks to open-topped and skimmer damage rules. Also anything that can ignore cover saves, wrecks this list pretty fast (and most dark eldar lists).
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