- @SCP Yeeman wrote:
Overall, I think AoF can have a place. But, right now, I think PoF beats it because of the 4++, Relic, Urien, Warlord Trait.
Depending on your list, AoF can definitely compete with PoF. For instance, if your primary interest is making Talos [or your vehicles] as tough as they can be, AoF is almost universally better. The only instance where PoF is better for Pain Engines is where you're against 1 damage attacks with AP-2 or better - Thousand Sons come to mind.
Again, just to be clear, this is only a direct comparison about their respective raw durability. PoF does offer a lot of advantages so is frequently still the better pick. If you're looking for a more well rounded detachment, or if you're looking for more utility, or if you love your Wracks, take PoF. But if you just want to spam as many of the tankiest Talos you can field, AoF is outstanding.
I experimented with a combination of the two last night, running an AoF Spearhead of 8 Talos and their Haemy, supported with a PoF Haemy holding the Vexator Mask (who was in a Mixed Battalion of Kabalites and a Shardnet Succubus, who was there in case there were any infantry she could catch so units could hide in melee - not that I ended up needing it)
Even with Jinx and Doom cast on my Talos, they just shrugged off shooting and charges from 8 Shining Spear, a Rose-wielding Solitaire, and a fully buffed Yncarne on the charge before swinging back.
I rate AoF extremely highly, but admit the biggest hurdle is just figuring out an efficient way to build the detachment, as Wracks are not well suited to being AoF. If you want to unlock the best AoF has to offer, a good starting point is a Spearhead of a Haemy and at least 6 Talos, possibly up to 9, ideally in units of 3 to maximise their efficiency when using stratagems, with vehicles added to taste.
- @SCP Yeeman wrote:
- If we were to run lots of skimmers, I would want to run Dark Technomancy and maybe Master of Mutagens for Venoms, not AoF for the same reasons above with the Reapers and because it will benefit me more as a whole I believe.
I adore Dark Technomancers, and I agree that it is the best way to run Reapers, if you want to run Reapers.
I would just like to add that a permanent -1 damage on Venoms specifically is substantially better than it looks on paper. Venoms of all varieties die in a heartbeat to any multi damage weapon that looks at them; Stalker Bolt Rifles, Autocannons, Avenger Gatling Cannons, Heavy Burst Cannons, Bullgryns, Malefic Talons and so on. AoF Venoms, however, basically only die efficiently
to very accurate S5/S6 shooting, Haywire, or dedicated melee units. I've found that they frequently limp away on a few wounds, while any other Venoms would have almost certainly died, and in many instances actively helped win me games I would have otherwise lost.