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 Upgrades vs a whole other unit?

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mug7703
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PostSubject: Upgrades vs a whole other unit?   Upgrades vs a whole other unit? I_icon_minitimeMon Oct 29 2012, 12:38

Looking over my recent list that I'm working towards I realised I could drop a few upgrades and a couple of wyches and take an extra Ravager. That's one more unit with three more lances although one more kill point in some scenarios. It got me wondering about people's perspective on dropping army-wide upgrades in favour of an extra unit. Is the sacrifice worth it? Have people made these changes to their lists and regretted it or preferred it? I haven't come to play test this 1500 point list yet as I'm still building it but I'm eager to try it both ways. Here are the two lists:

Version 1:

Hamonculus w/LFG, VB - 65pts (Warlord)
Hamonculus w/SS - 65pts

8 Wyches w/HWG, Hekatrix w/Agon. Raider - 186pts
8 Wyches w/HWG, Hekatrix w/Agon. Raider - 186pts

5 Warriors w/B. Venom w/2xSC, NS - 135pts
5 Warriors w/B. Venom w/2xSC, NS - 135pts

9 Reavers w/3xHL, Champ w/VB - 249pts
9 Reavers w/3xHL, Champ w/VB - 249pts

Ravager w/NS - 115pts
Ravager w/NS - 115pts

= 1,500pts exactly

Version 2 - Night Shields removed, Agonisers downgraded to venom blades and Hameonclis only equipped with LFGs.

Haemonculus w/LFG - 60pts (Warlord)
Haemonculus w/LFG - 60pts

7 Wyches w/HWG, Hekatrix w/VB. Raider - 159pts
7 Wyches w/HWG, Hekatrix w/VB. Raider - 159pts

5 Warriors w/B. Venom w/2xSC - 125pts
5 Warriors w/B. Venom w/2xSC - 125pts

9 Reavers w/3xHL, Champ w/VB - 249pts
9 Reavers w/3xHL, Champ w/VB - 249pts

Ravager - 105pts
Ravager - 105pts
Ravager - 105pts

= 1,501pts

Okay so I know it's 1 point over but I could easily rework that. What are peoples thoughts. Are upgrades like Night Shields worth the army-wide tactical advantage over a whole extra unit?
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Count Adhemar
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PostSubject: Re: Upgrades vs a whole other unit?   Upgrades vs a whole other unit? I_icon_minitimeMon Oct 29 2012, 13:48

I prefer the second list. I'm not totally convinced about NS on Ravagers. You usually want your Ravagers to hang back and I feel that NS are actually better for vehicles that operate closer to the enemy. That might seem strange but many of the weapons that will fire at your Ravagers have a longer range than you do. A 48" weapon doesn't care about NS on a 36" Ravager. If you can shoot at them they will always be able to shoot at you regardless of whether you have NS or not.

Where Night Shields do come in useful is in the midfield, where you might have weapons with 24" range or less. In that case you will either be able to keep out of range completely or be able to cut down on return fire by keeping out of rapid fire or melta range.

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Evil Space Elves
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PostSubject: Re: Upgrades vs a whole other unit?   Upgrades vs a whole other unit? I_icon_minitimeMon Oct 29 2012, 14:29

I know this doesn't help, but I'm pretty groovy with either list.
The first list feels a bit better for my style with units having a bit more durability(larger wyche units). I tend to prefer 8 man/woman Wyche squads. I could see dropping the agonizers for VB's. This would buy an extra Wyche for each squad and would allow for a VB on the second Haemi. I also find that Nightshields, while giving you nothing against 48" LC's and ML's, really help out against IG tanks(Chimeras) with their 36" range. I play against a lot of mech-vet parking lots and find that forcing the IG players to move their tanks forward to get shots on my gunboats gets them out of their comfort zone where they make mistakes.

The 2nd list feels more like an optimized list. Effective, but a bit less flavor. I don't think that you can really go wrong wither way, though I'd prefer to play the 1st if given the choice.

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Murkglow
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PostSubject: Re: Upgrades vs a whole other unit?   Upgrades vs a whole other unit? I_icon_minitimeMon Oct 29 2012, 15:26

I'm a more minimalist upgrades kinda person myself so list two is the one that looks best to me (I have a hard time justifying Agonizers on wyche champions to myself for example though I know other people like them just fine and they do work better with drugs).
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PostSubject: Re: Upgrades vs a whole other unit?   Upgrades vs a whole other unit? I_icon_minitimeMon Oct 29 2012, 20:13

@Count Adhemar wrote:
A 48" weapon doesn't care about NS on a 36" Ravager.

Actually Count it does care, for the Ravager is 48" too, in a sense. Move 12" shoot 36".
Now if we go first, we HAVE to get into 36" range to be effective. But when we go second, thanks to pre-measuring we can deploy 43" back and still be safe. This does give protection from Havoc, Dev and LF squads firing Lascannons

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Count Adhemar
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PostSubject: Re: Upgrades vs a whole other unit?   Upgrades vs a whole other unit? I_icon_minitimeMon Oct 29 2012, 20:31

@1++ wrote:
@Count Adhemar wrote:
A 48" weapon doesn't care about NS on a 36" Ravager.

Actually Count it does care, for the Ravager is 48" too, in a sense. Move 12" shoot 36"

And how far away is the Ravager after it has fired? Even with NS it's still 42" away at most and well within range.

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PostSubject: Re: Upgrades vs a whole other unit?   Upgrades vs a whole other unit? I_icon_minitimeMon Oct 29 2012, 20:47

I am also an upgrade minimalist, have always taken VB's, and have not been using NS and have not missed them.

I would go with list two - I might not take three Ravvies, but I would definitely use those points you have shaved to get another unit of some type with some extra firepower.
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PostSubject: Re: Upgrades vs a whole other unit?   Upgrades vs a whole other unit? I_icon_minitimeMon Oct 29 2012, 22:00

@Count Adhemar wrote:
@1++ wrote:
@Count Adhemar wrote:
A 48" weapon doesn't care about NS on a 36" Ravager.

Actually Count it does care, for the Ravager is 48" too, in a sense. Move 12" shoot 36"

And how far away is the Ravager after it has fired? Even with NS it's still 42" away at most and well within range.

I was taking the side of "if going 2nd in the game". Ie: being able to set up 43" away from a static 48" range weapon, at that point your safe.....

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Count Adhemar
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PostSubject: Re: Upgrades vs a whole other unit?   Upgrades vs a whole other unit? I_icon_minitimeMon Oct 29 2012, 22:06

@1++ wrote:
@Count Adhemar wrote:
@1++ wrote:
@Count Adhemar wrote:
A 48" weapon doesn't care about NS on a 36" Ravager.

Actually Count it does care, for the Ravager is 48" too, in a sense. Move 12" shoot 36"

And how far away is the Ravager after it has fired? Even with NS it's still 42" away at most and well within range.

I was taking the side of "if going 2nd in the game". Ie: being able to set up 43" away from a static 48" range weapon, at that point your safe.....

Fair enough. I still think that's situational and that NS are probably of more use on vehicles that will be closer to the target (but not right in their faces).

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PostSubject: Re: Upgrades vs a whole other unit?   Upgrades vs a whole other unit? I_icon_minitimeMon Oct 29 2012, 22:19

I don't take Night Shields on Ravagers as most weapons firing at them will be 48" range anyway, so don't care about the Night Shields... unless you aren't in Dark Lance range... in which case what are you doing?

As for Squad sizes, it's very important to have large squad sizes when it comes to close combat troops like Wyches. A couple of models can be the difference between winning or losing a fight, and while in a firefight this just means losing one more model than the opponent, in close combat this can easily be the difference between winning, tying, or fleeing and being run down, meaning you've lost the whole squad because you didn't pay another 20pts (24 with Haywire) for another couple of Wyches.

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PostSubject: Re: Upgrades vs a whole other unit?   Upgrades vs a whole other unit? I_icon_minitimeMon Oct 29 2012, 22:21

@1++ wrote:
@Count Adhemar wrote:
A 48" weapon doesn't care about NS on a 36" Ravager.

Actually Count it does care, for the Ravager is 48" too, in a sense. Move 12" shoot 36".
Now if we go first, we HAVE to get into 36" range to be effective. But when we go second, thanks to pre-measuring we can deploy 43" back and still be safe. This does give protection from Havoc, Dev and LF squads firing Lascannons

What if they move 6" too, and then shoot you?

Update: Never mind. I missed the bit about Havoc, Dev, and LF's. Sorry!

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PostSubject: Re: Upgrades vs a whole other unit?   Upgrades vs a whole other unit? I_icon_minitimeTue Oct 30 2012, 00:46

I'm glad I've inspired some interesting debate and thank you all for your comments. I think when it's built I'll start with the first list and amend it along the way and see if I miss the NS and extra wyches.

I agree with the utility of having night shields on Venom gunboats because your warriors are up close to the enemy with their Blasters and Splinter Cannons.

I have also been in situations where my IG opponent hasn't been able to fire on my Ravager which has been very useful so I'll see how the first list runs. I think it's quite solid.

I'm quite a big fan of Agonisers although I see why many people take venom blades. I like them in the first list because there are venom blades elsewhere. 1 more wych is also one more wych to die when the Raider is popped out of the sky.
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Agahnim
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PostSubject: Re: Upgrades vs a whole other unit?   Upgrades vs a whole other unit? I_icon_minitimeTue Oct 30 2012, 03:29

A wise and great Ork player once asked me, "Do you know what the best upgrade to give an Ork Boy is?"
I shook my head, and he chuckled. He told me: "Another Ork Boy."

Whenever I take an upgrade, I always ask myself, "why is this better than putting the points toward another squad?" Certainly my Dark Eldar have more upgrades than those Orks, but I find that lists fraught with Night Shields, Hunter Killer missiles, Nemesis Force Falchions, and whatever other gizmos and gewgaws that aren't worth that many points of "more models" are never a serious threat.
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PostSubject: Re: Upgrades vs a whole other unit?   Upgrades vs a whole other unit? I_icon_minitimeTue Oct 30 2012, 13:01

@Agahnim wrote:
A wise and great Ork player once asked me, "Do you know what the best upgrade to give an Ork Boy is?"
I shook my head, and he chuckled. He told me: "Another Ork Boy."

Whenever I take an upgrade, I always ask myself, "why is this better than putting the points toward another squad?" Certainly my Dark Eldar have more upgrades than those Orks, but I find that lists fraught with Night Shields, Hunter Killer missiles, Nemesis Force Falchions, and whatever other gizmos and gewgaws that aren't worth that many points of "more models" are never a serious threat.

Yes this is a very interesting point and I'm looking forward to understanding the synergy of my list and unveiling its tactical potential. The thing with NS is that they provide a tactical ability and when this is army-wide it can be quite a nuisance to the enemy and force them to take fire or leave cover or advance, ultimately shaping their tactical decisions.
I'm a huge fan of chess and I got into 40k years ago partly because of the strategic similarity. Obviously chess is a far purer form of strategy as there are no dice involved but the essence of strategy is in both and with the inclusion of pre-measuring one can base more decisions on fact rather than assumption which I very much like. NS fit into this well I believe.
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PostSubject: Re: Upgrades vs a whole other unit?   Upgrades vs a whole other unit? I_icon_minitimeWed Oct 31 2012, 06:30

As another Chess player, I think what the dice do is take the trouble of memorizing a million different openings and their variants and toss all that out the window. Good riddance, what a lot of time that takes. The issue is when too much depends on them and you lose control of the army, or when the odds are against you in ridiculous ways. Also Chess has even more pre-measuring, in that movement/charge ranges are fixed and both players know them at all times.

Instead of trying to check the opponent's king, claiming objectives is the goal. I know, obvious, but I've lost too many games because I got caught up in killing stuff, and beaten people who forgot what they were trying to do. In that sense, there's no single King but you only have 6 "pawns" and they're each 1/6 of your King. The fragility comes from the ease of losing your king-pieces compared to killing theirs - what you gain is extra movement and threat. I think that, once you have that perspective, the Night Shields and Flickerfields lose a lot of value, because the vehicles just become so many Knights and Bishops; disposable tools readily sacrificed to protect your Pawn-Kings or support your Rooks and Queens.

Unlike 40k or Go, Chess also has the limitation of a fixed set of pieces. If I could choose between making my knights better or taking a third? I'll take another, every time.

Granted, my playstyle is very much "Always attack, never defend. Only the last scoring piece cannot be discarded, only my last life-point must be guarded." But between that and getting to play as Sidhe/Elven Space Pirates, I think I picked the right army.
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PostSubject: Re: Upgrades vs a whole other unit?   Upgrades vs a whole other unit? I_icon_minitimeWed Oct 31 2012, 09:59

This is a very interesting perspective. I've never looked at the similarities and equivalents between 40k and chess so closely before. I was just marking the strategic nature of them both. I'll have to play test with the first army of several games and then change over to the second and see how the extra Ravager works for me.
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PostSubject: Re: Upgrades vs a whole other unit?   Upgrades vs a whole other unit? I_icon_minitimeWed Oct 31 2012, 13:05

Agahnim,

Sometimes I wish this forum had a "Rep" system, but since it doesn't I'll just have to post and thank you for your insite. Well worded and worth a good mulling over.

You've got me revisiting my list deck and tooling out slight alterations that need to be run sometime...
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PostSubject: Re: Upgrades vs a whole other unit?   Upgrades vs a whole other unit? I_icon_minitimeThu Nov 01 2012, 04:04

Those are some really great parallelisms you drew between chess and warhammer I've got to say, but unfortunately I disagree about the NS subject. I feel that if you had NS army-wide it improves your mobility with your units. Since it cuts off some range to the enemy it in turn gives you more room to work with when deploying your units and moving them around the table, just to me it seems like the gain from NS is really great because of the way it increases our mobility and since we are already the most mobile army, by increasing that gap we can give ourselves an even greater advantage over movement which plays a huge role in winning you the game.

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