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Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP)

Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:59 pm
by DocDesastro
Dear community,

this is just a thread to post my experiences with the game strategy-wise. I will try to be as objective as possible. I also want to thank DuncanSteward for his enlightening guide about units and mechanisms. I used some of his wisdom to shape my army and use it accordingly. Feel free to comment and add to this thread.

First, one must understand that 40k Armageddon is not Panzer General although it looks like a GW clone of the game. There are mechanisms working different which can make a difference.
Your army consists of units belonging to classes each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Although done before, I will sum up the basics I found out:

Infantry: This is the backbone of your army. Most objectives are about conquering and holding victory hexes. And if it is not a plains or city hex with road...well, you cannot do it because other unit types may not enter those hexes. So be sure you have enough of them.

Walkers: These could be hard hitters if you are a Space Marine or Ork or be nimble yet fragile scouts if you play Steel Legion. They can cope with almost any terrain besides fortresses and city hexes methinks. Quite high movement range as well.

Vehicles: Wheeled or tracked light to medium vehicles fulfilling a lot of roles. Mostly scouting operations or magic bullet against a certain unit type. Low defence so keep away from trouble. Best on plains and roads for maximum movement.

Flyer: fragile vehicle that ignores terrain for movement purposes. Nice in scenarios where bridges are to be crossed and resulting bottlenecks. Keep away from FlakkaDakka Battlefortresses at all cost!

Tanks: the workhorses of battle. Good defence, good armament. Small unit numbers so battle losses will hit those units harder.

Artillery: the big guns firing from second line. Keep away from damage. Although it looks like a tank it isn't meant to deflect bullets.

Titans: the gods of war. Big, mean machines of mass destructiion with a wide array of weaponry. Expect them to be effective against everything and hard to kill.

Now to remember some game mechanics to efficiently use your units.

AI behavior: I realized that the AI controlled units can be roughly divided into 2 categories: Blockers and Hunters. Blockers are units that garrison certain hexes and will usually not leave them without a reason i.e. enemy in sight. Mostly used as obstacles to shave away turns from your turn counter as their ZoC prevents reaching your goals. Hunters are units that follow a certain pattern. They attack enemies in sight and if not present, they move towards a certain direction, mostly a victory hex. The latter can be exploited by ambushing them accordingly. If you can expect them to show up somewhere and have a good recon, you can position your own units into good defences and firing positions. If not then those will be the units plopping out of the fog of war ruining your day. Also, the AI seems to attack certain units more happier than others. Auxilliary units are such a thing. I fought missions with cannon-fodder units like hive gangers, where the orks rather slaughtered those units instead of my own, more dangerous ones. If you happen to have expendable free units, use them to lure the orks. The AI is also happy to attack all other infantry, mainly, because I believe, is to prevent you from winning the game. If you cannot secure victory hexes because you have no infantry, you lose. I guess there is an algorithm floating around for picking targets. This could either be a target-type of choice or attacking best odds. However, there have been experiences that certain units have a 'kick me' sign placed on their backs and the AI loves to destroy them. First are HQ units. I guess, because they are most expensive in their class and AI wants to inflict as many RP hits as possible to win the war of attrition. And by depriving the player from regaining morale quickly it will make scenarios more challenging. Then, I experienced that the AI likes to kill fire support squads and high vision units, if able. I guess this is hard-coded to take out 'the most dangerous' units of the player.

Morale: Morale is important as it keeps your units in fighting shape. Losing morale will decrease unit efficiency by lowering initiative and accuracy. Neutral morale is fine but you want good morale as it raises initiative by 2 and accuracy by 20% making your guys hit more often and preventing more of them to fire back. You will want to include units into your army that have the leadership trait or heroic trait (only in special missions). Leadership adds +25 Morale to neighbouring units per turn making them more deadly. You want this, believe me. Get rid of negative morale as it will make your units worse lowering initiative and accuracy up to -40% if broken. Use the R&R order, if possible or even better: use HQ units, which do the same for up to 6 units around without losing a turn in return. Keep in mind that morale will not prevent units from firing. They will only hit worse and fire last. A big ork mob with low morale still has a metric buttload of attacks to return fire.

Initiative: Basically, attacks are resolved simultaneously. However, the unit with the higher Initiative fires first. Before the enemy units can fire back some casualties will be removed, if their initiative is lower. Those will not fire back.
E.g. a unit with 20 guys and an initiative of 6 was attacked by an enemy with initiative of 9. 6 casualties were inflicted. Because 9 is 3 higher than 6, 3 of your guys won't fire back. You can only retaliate with 17 guys. As each unit sprite will attack once this is very important. Units with high initiative can kill or finish off better, but slower units without taking damage in return. Also, experience gained will increase initiative so veteran units are more likely to receive less damage as they will prevent more killed sprites from returning fire.

Bigger is not always better: As the campaign progresses, you are offered new unit choices and can make upgrades. However, this comes with a dual price. Once, the new units will more likely cost more requisition points. So you will have a hard time replacing them or repairing them as more expensive units will cost more to reinforce. While this is fine if playing easy, on higher difficulties RP do not grow on trees. Also, certain units will perform good against one type of unit but poorly against others. Example: Artillery. Compare the Wyvern with the Deathstrike. Which one would you prefer? On first glance the Deathstrike, because it is a cool unit, costs a lot more so it WILL be better than the Wyvern. True AND false at once.
First, we observe, that the Deathstrike has one single shot that matters - the rocket. In most cases it is too far away from the front to use the heavy bolter as well. And then it is only 4 sprites per unit so only 4 shots fired. The Wyvern has a range of 3 only, but it comes in units of 5 tanks and each stormshard mortar will have 4 shots each meaning 20 shots plus the heavy bolter of same range adding another 2 or 3 per sprite. What would happen, when you fire it onto a unit of gretchins? Without the bonus damage rule you would kill 4 gretchins with the deathstrike barrage but about 20-30 with the Wyvern. Targetting a gargant, however, would be deadly for the Wyvern as their weaponry is no use for the high defence. Here is the place the Deathstrike shines. Have one, when you will expect heavy ork tanks like battlefortresses and gargants. Against the hordes, it is useless so swapping out each artillery to deathstrike as soon it is available seems foolish to me.
Example 2: Shadowsword vs. Destroyer. Both snipe high defence targets from range 4 ideally. Destroyer comes with 5 units and 5 shots. The Shadowsword comes with 2 units and 2 volcano cannon shots resulting in 4 attacks made. The higher strength of 120 helps a lot against titans or heavy tanks and has an increased chance of bonus damage. But it is sluggigh as heck with horrible movement points while the destroyer is nimble and can keep up with your other troops.
Additionally, wothout the targetter upgrade the shadowsword's guns will have less accuracy than the destroyer meaning even less shots will hit. The upgraded destroyer for about 450 points will hit at 100% with no penalty for distance.

Orks always have superior numbers: True and in this case very important as each unit's sprite can attack. So a 40 gretchin mob will do 40 attacks AND a close combat afterwards if you let them. You will lose any war of attrition against orks so kill them quickly with the priority of melting away the big mobs, if able. When playing space marines, keep in mind that you have very good, durable infantry with weapons against all kind of foes so your artillery will be used to take away the numerical advantage of the orks. Whirlwind batteries and the tech priest's gun do just this: turning big mobs into small mobs which are no threat to your marines so you can ignore them and hit the stronger ones. Just do not expect your whirlwinds to take down gargants.

Always use the right tool for the right task. This means you will need a lot of different tools in your army.

Before attacking something: think!
Know your own armament and take your time to right-click the enemy unit. Compare the defence of the enemy with your own strength. Is your unit efficient against this type of foe? Have you forgotten something like have they more initiative because of XP or basic value? Do they have multiple hits so that more units will stay in fight and retaliate? Playing rushed never helped anybody. (A flaw most youtubers have playing too quickly).

Support fire is your friend: I have seen it a lot - orks charging a unit protected by a weapon team and getting hammered for it. Those are a life insurance against ork mobs breaking through and getting into close combat. Also, you will want to reinforce those with priority. Reason is easy: each other unit will lose their actions to reinforce. The support unit just will continue to lend fire support as this is no action but a reaction. For extra giggles, keep close a HQ unit so that it always has high morale. Support fire with +20 Accuracy is stellar. Especially when new unit types are available always ask yourself: when I am upgrading and giving up the support fire trait, will my army suffer from this choice? Will more own units die because I have a new toy with a slightly bigger gun that cannot protect the other team members? In defence scenarios, this trait is pure gold.

Recon is the key: Units with high vision are a must. They will see the enemy before he can see you or run into him and get ambushed. You do not want to get ambushed. Your unit will get locked in battle and hammered by multiple ork units in return leading to its demise. You are not allowed to waste the Emperor's soldiers, commander! Ratling Snipers, Salamander Scouts, Sentinels and later Space Marine Scouts will fit that role. Look out for transport vehicles. Scouts can have the storm landspeeder later which is a flyer with very high speed. Remember, they can move fast, but tend to go Leroy Jenkins. Remember: Scouts are your army's eyes. The eyes move WITH the body, not in front of and are well protected. Also mind minimum range on sniper rifle (Ratlings/Scouts). If you can grab a vision 4 unit - you will not regret it, if used wisely. In fact, most artillery which most players like is blind without scouts and cannot fire at targets.

Do not underestimate assault weapons: Another round of dealing damage is always nice and it ignores cover so more hits possible. Also, those units can actually retaliate if attacked in close combat. Steel Legion units, however tend to be glass cannons. Ogryns are an exception. But you will want terminators or dreadnoughts for this.

Transport vehicles are useful: They just do not make your units faster, but you can embark and use a whole different array of weapons which might even be stronger or have more range than standard issue. Think: Steel Legion infantry comes at a price of 100 points plus an odd number for the chimera (Conscripts even less). Those are 7 sprites comparable to a salamander scout with the multilaser weaker than the autocannon. But have you ever tried to use them as tanks instead of infantry? They can be effective at range 3 getting almost no retaliation fire from orks and have higher defence still. The Gorgon is a double-edged sword. It has far more weapons (yet more inaccurate ones) and more defence but is more expensive. I would rather not use it in units which tend to receive combat losses often. Has anybody tested yet whether conscripts will have more chimeras? I reckon that they will have not.

I would try to add some information about units I have already tested. As RP are limited in higher dificulties, it is important to get cheap units first and upgrade them later. Also, those will get XP while used which they will keep after upgrading. Each level of XP will add 1 point of initiative and a small bonus to defence and base accuracy.

Try to remember, how a weapons attack will work:
A unit has a melee and a ranged attack value it uses in battle. This value should be met with a d100 or under meaning 50% hit means a 50 or less will inflict a hit while 51 or higher does not. The weapon it uses might influence the attack. I guess this modifies the first roll. The accuracy value changes the to-hit number. A 100% would mean the unit's value is unchanged while a lower value seems to be multiplied with unit accuracy to get the new, lower to-hit-number. Also, there might be a penalty for each hex beyond the first which is cumulative. Let us get practical:
A Steel Legion Infantry has a base ranged accuracy of 50% meaning that statistically, half of its attacks will hit. Each sprite in the unit will use its weapon once. In that case it is a standard lasgun which has 2 attacks. The unit has 30 men which will result in 60 attacks at a base to-hit-number of 50%. The lasgun has accuracy 100% so the value will not be changed. It has a penalty of -10% per hex beyond the first. The one thing I am not sure is, whether this means the hex the unit is standing so even the neighbouring hex will get the -10% or the one after the neighboring one. Let us assume the last but maybe you can correct me. Shooting a neighbouring unit will inflict 30 hits which seems much first but we still have not calculated cover into it which influences accuracy as well as morale. The lasgun has range 2 so it can be fired an additional hex away but becomes poorer in accuracy. It will drop to 90% so I guess only 90% of the 30 hits will really hit meaning 27.
Usually, each hit will wound in 50% of all times. However, this value is modified. First, weapon strength and defence are compared. Just subtract the defence from the strength and you will get the modifier for the wounding throw.

A lasgun has 20 and we assume the ork unit has 30 defence. Remember, they are rather sturdy, while not armoured well. So 20%-30%=-10% which will drop the to-wound chance to 40%. So 27*0,4 results in 10,8 hits on range 2 and 30*0,4 results in 12 wounds. Each wound will remove a HP which might result in a guy dying. Thougher units have more than one HP so they can take multiple hits before another one bites it.
The lasgun has no piercing value. If it had, it would decrease the defence value by the piercing value. A high piercing value will make a weapon more efficient against targets with high defence making it useful against a broader spectrum of targets. The lasgun clearly is usable versus light infantry only like gretchins and slugga mobs. Usually, units will be in hexes offering cover which will lower the attackers accuracy. Same is true for shooting through units. Morale also will decrease accuracy by -20% and -40% for shaken/broken units. This is why you engage units from range before getting close. If you manage to drop morale the unit you attack will become weaker so that mopping up in close range will not be too dangerous to the attacking unit. Also, keep in mind, that a higher initiative will remove units from the equation when it comes to returning fire. For each point of initiative higher than the opponent, one sprite of the just killed ones may not return fire. Higher initiative keeps your units alive in combat, so do not underestimate that value. When the strength of a weapon is higher than the defence, then there is a chance of bonus damage. A hit can inflict multiple wounds and in rare cases, cause insta-kills. Odds are better, the higher the difference between strength and defence is. This is important, when you want to upgrade to something with a weapon with few shots, but high strength and piercing. It will do more hits than statistically estimated.
Finally, units with assault weapons will start a close combat phase at range 0 after shooting. They will use the melee accuracy value modified by the weapon's accuracy. Cover will be ignored so it is good for clearing out fortifications. Mind that the attacked unit still might fire first so fewer attackers will enter the breach. Otherwise, same rules apply here. Important: If the attacked unit does not have range 0 weapons, they will not retaliate this melee attack. Most orks have a kind of close combat ability while steel legion units have not, so keep the green tide away!

Let us take a look at the units that are available for the Steel Legion:

Infantry Section

Steel Legion Company Command
This is your basic HQ unit with the main purpose of giving +25 morale each turn to adjacant units. Raising morale to good will raise their initiative and accuracy so overall efficiency is raised.
It comes at a cost of 350 RP for 20 men with only one HP. With movement 4 they are rather nimble, have a good sight of 3 hexes and for infantry a rather good defence of 37. The initiative of 10 is rather high and helps keeping the unit alive. Melee/ranged accuracy stands at 50%/50% so every other attack will inflict a hit. With 20 men this is not much and they are rather fragile. They can be upgraded with chimeras and the gorgon later. This might be a viable option but increases repair costs. Speed 4 might be enough to have them walk by foot. The best spot for them is near other friendly units because of the leadership skill which adds 25 morale per turn (efficiency increases). It also has assault skill meaning it can shoot, then do a melee attack which can inflict a fair amount of damage. Their power sword is a good weapon with 2 'shots', strength 40 and 25 piercing so you could try and attack light to medium vehicles as well with them if need arises. Just do not expect them to live long enough to do this more than once or twice. Take an occasional shot at range but main job should be regenerating morale. As infantry, they can enter almost every hex and capture victory points. You might want to have at least one of those. Heed this advice: The AI likes targetting this unit very much. I think because it destroys a lot of RP by doing that and by removing leadership from the equation the player would have a much harder time.

Steel Legion Conscripts
The poor man's infantry. It comes at 75 RP and is armed with a lasgun which we know from above. The stats are horrible. True, they are 40 men thus 80 shots but, alas only 35%/35% base accuracy, sight 1, poor defence of 25 (expect them to die in droves), only movement of 2 and initiative 5. Expect those to take large losses and be almost inefficient when reduced to small numbers. I have not tried them out yet and only used the auxilliary units the missions give to me. It is infantry, so it can take objectives. With speed 2 it is rather defensive. I guess, best use is to put it into a trench, have a fire support team next to it and use it as wave breaker (yet a fragile one). On higher difficulties, RP might be so scarce, that you would buy one of those and upgrade them later to Steel Legion Infantry. Because of +25% men and -15% overall accuracy I guess a full unit will be 10% more efficient than a standard infantry but after even small losses this will be equalized or be even worse. Their role might be live and learn before promotion, sacrificial lambs, meat shields.

Steel Legion Infantry
Bread and Butter unit of Steel Legion Forces. They cost 100 RP so they are rather cheap and affordable. They also carry the well-known lasgun and have 30 men per unit. Sight is raised to 2, defence to 35, movement to 3, initiative to 9 and accuracy to 50%/50% which is definitively an improvement. You will start with some of these and might want to keep them a bit. Infantry is always needed to capture points, it can enter fortifications making them very durable and should be supported by fire support units. Improvement with a chimera is very useful as it will turn the unit into a tank, if wished. For 90 RP the chimera will appear as 7 AFV unit with 50 defence and 6 movement points and 3HP each. Keep in mind, that the base ranged accuracy is 40% for this unit and not 50% so less shots will hit. The multilaser is comparable to the lasgun, but has +1 range and +1 shot. Additionally, it comes with a heavy bolter which has range 3, strength 40, 0 piercing and 2 shots. Accuracy starts at 100% but will drop by 10% per hex. So converting the unit into AFV mode it will swap 60 lasgun shots with 50% chance to 21 lasgun shots with 40% and additional 14 shots with the heavy bolter. This might result in less damage done, but engaging at higher range makes it less risky for the unit to attack someone. Their main role is holding the line while being supported properly and taking objectives. Also, you can early invest into them and upgrade for less later.
Also, you could instead add the Gorgon assault vehicle. It will cost 360 RP however. You would get 8 units with 3 HP each so pretty sturdy with movement 5 which is a bit less than the Chimera. The sight is 2, iz has whopping 60 defence bit comes with poor initiative of 1 and only 30%/30% accuracy. Its weapons array sounds awesome at first glance. 4 heavy stubber which are a 35 strength weapon with 3 shots but lame basic accuracy of 75% even getting worse with -10% per hex. Range is 1-3. Also there are 4 of the well-known heavy bolters and 4 mortars similar to the ones the mortar squads carry. Number of shots do not equal, however so I suggest a possible bug there. Do not expect this transport to wipe out anything it comes along. It loks nice but woth only 30% accuracy hardly every 3rd shot will connect. Make it worse with range or cover intervening.

Steel Legion Special Weapons
A variant of the vanilla infantry with flamers as armament. They cost 125 per unit. They have only 25 men and their defence is improved to 37 (a meager +2). Other stats are identical with Steel Legion Infantry. The flamer is an assault weapon. It has range 0 meaning it will be used in melee. Which is bad since most attacked units can shoot them first. Those that survive, however attack with strength 30 which is higher than a lasgun and 3 'shots'. It has no piercing so it would bother light to medium infantry only. Good thing: it will ignore cover so it is more efficient against entrenched units than other units. I usually do not have many of them as they die too quickly and their flamer is missing the 'terror' trait decreasing morale.
You might want one of those for special occasions - at least in the early missions. Or in mission with many city hexes where they excel. Attack from cover something in cover with them. Just be sure the attacked unit is not supported, otherwise the support fire will butcher your unit.

Hive Militia w Autopistols
Using those is an act of despair. 40 RP is cheap and they come with 25 men per unit, but they are even worse than conscripts. Even less defence than conscripts (20!) only initiative 3 and a weapon that works like a neutered lasgun with only range 1 and 1 shot at base accuracy 30%/30%. Why should one buy such a unit? I can see only 2 reasons: First: You have no RP left but slots available so invest 40 RP now and upgrade later. Second: Sacrificial lambs, although I believe, even 40 RP are too much for that task.

Hive Militia w Autoguns
Costs at 55, identical to above mentioned militia unit. Gun is slightly better than a lasgun strength-wise otherwise identical. Yet, I rather would take regular infantry. If you want to play it fluffy or in scenarios, do it. Otherwise I see no reason to take them as better units are available from the beginning. Basically worse concripts with a better gun in fewer numbers.

Ogryn Squad
Now we are talking heavy infantry - at least for Astra Militarum. Ogryns cost 290 RP. A unit has 20 sprites but every one has 2 HP meaning it is two times harder to kill them than normal infantry. Movement is 3 is standard for infantry as it seems. Sight is 1 so they need scouts if they do not want to run blindly into the enemy. Defence is rather high with 45 but initiative is low. Base Accuracy is 50%/50% so it is a buffed infantryman. Ogryns are armed with ripper guns and ripper clubs. The ripper gun has similar stats to a lasgun but double the strength i.e. 40. Add 3 shots and you have a good amount of attacks made. Accuracy is worse and deteriorates with range by -20% so maybe they could profit from having a transport when engaging units from higher range. Since they have the assault trait they are much deadlier units when it comes to close range. The ripper club has the same stats as the power sword with strength 40 and piercing 25. Also, 2 attacks per sprite. These guys can hurt everything but the heaviest units and can endure some fire. However, they are not invulnerable and replacements costly. Good shock troops for Astra Militarum. Supported, they are real beasts. Fire support teams are their best friends.

Ogryn Veteran Squad
The Ogryn Veterans have the same armament as their cousins. They cost 380 RP and the following improvements over the vanilla ogryn: +1 move, +1 sight, -6 Defence (o.k. - this is no improvement), initiative of 6 and the most important: base accuracy of 70%/70% which makes them elite amongst the infantry units of the Steel Legion. They put many things into a world of hurt at close range and will decimate ork mobs reliably. Yet, still not immortal.

Ratling Snipers
These are the true scouts in the Steel Legion. They cost 225 RP and come in 15 men squads, which is not much given their fragile natur. Movement 4 is high and can be enhanced to 6 by adding a chimera for 90 points. Sight is 4 meaning their best use is to locate enemy units first and then placing your other units in perfect firing positions. Be warned: moving fast could also lead in ratlings ambushed by the enemy. Defence is 30 and initiative rather high with 9. Also, in chimera mode, sight is reduced. Their accuracy is 50%/70% so they shoot better than they fight (which they don't anyways). The sniper rifle they are armed with is interesting. It packs some punch with a strength of 40 but still lacks piercing. It has a range of 2-4 meaning you cannot fire at adjacant hexes. It has 2 shots and 100% accuracy which deteriorates by -10% per additional hex. Their role is harrassing the opponent from out of range and reconnoitering the enemy to prepare the attack and avoid ambushes. Keep them away from trouble.

Steel Legion Rough Riders
A Cavalry unit costing 200 points so double the price of regular infantry. Unit stats are similar to infantry. Less sprites - only 20 per unit. Movement is higher (5 instead of 3) and they also have +1 sight making them mediocre scouts. They have a lasgun and a hunting lance which make them better shock troops than flamer units in my book. The hunting lance is another power sword lookalike weapon. Same stats - different name. Better than flamers, since they have something to shoot with before the assault but worse than ogryns, which have more staying power. The Rough riders are too fragile to make a large impact on the battlefield. They have their uses, however. If you are lacking RP for buying ogryns with chimera but want some shock troops you could try them out.

Steel Legion Support Team
For whopping 400 points you will get 20 guys with heavy bolters. Stats are those of regular infantry but initiative reduced due to the bulky nature of the guns. The heavy bolter seems not to be the same as used in the chimera - which might be a bug. It has 4 shots instead of 2. Strength 30 is mediocre but the unit is laying down a hailstorm of shots. The most interesting trait is their support fire perk. Place them adjacant to another unit and it will punish those who want to attack the protected unit. Needs direct LoS and accuracy deteriorates by -10% hex. Main role: protect the infantry from ork mobs.

Steel Legion Mortar Support
Identical to the Fire Support Team mentioned above but with different armament. Mortars have a range of 2-3, strength 30 and no piercing at 3 shots per sprite. Which is still plenty. However, the mortar can fire indirectly and accuracy is not deteriorating making it a bit more effective at range 3. Very good in city fights where you do not have clear line of sight. Worth having at least one. Has the support ability so it will punish units attacking neighbours as well. Can be used to siege other units out although the range is not comparable to real artillery. All support teams are vulnerable and are more costly to repair than infantry.

Steel Legion Anti Tank Support
Those troops carry missile launchers. Having only 1 shot each, sporting 20 men this is still a lot: each shot has strength 75 and 35 piercing which will make bonus damage likely. Good versus light to medium vehicles - they tear them apart. Initiative of 9 instead of 1 is nothing to sneeze at so you can use them aggressively. Those can survive long if you are careful. Accuracy deteriorates with range by -10% per hex so expect no wonders at range 3 but they are deadly in ambushes at close range.

Walker Section

Steel Legion Sentinel
The Steel Legion only has one walker: the Sentinel.
A sentinel is a chicken-style walker sporting a single weapon. In the game it is a lascannon. In canon it can be a heavy flamer, a multilaser or a rocket launcher as well. It costs 200 points and fulfills the role of a mobile scout. It only has 8 sprites and each has 2 HP so it is rather vulnerable. It comes with movement rate of 5 which is good and has a sight of 4 which makes it an excellent scout choice. Defence 51 is o.k. but will fail if anybody puts effort into destroying the unit. Initiative of 7 is mediocre but coming to accuracy we see, that it comes with 50%/60% so it is a better marksman than other units. Armament is the lascannon, a weapon intended to hurt tanks. The stats are range 3 so do not expect fire exchanges with other tanks to be healthy. Strength is 65 which is enough to hutrt most light and medium vehicles. Additionally it sports 20 piercing and one shot per sprite. A lascannon has deteriorating accuracy with range: -10% per hex.

Sentinel Armageddon Pattern
A more armoured form of sentinel and better in many regards. Costs go up by 100 to 300 RP per unit but stats are improved significantly: Movement by 1 hex, defence by 10, initiative to 9 and ranged accuracy raises from 60% to 70%. You should do the upgrade if you have sentinels as scouts in your army. It is wirth its salt. This variant also is good for delivering the coup-de-grace for wounded tank units. High initiative plus tank-busting weapon means game over for injured units with not so much danger for the sentinel. Beware: AI seems to like to attack them. This unit is useful until the late game although - in campaign game - as soon as space marines are available, I tend to replace my scouts with space marine scouts and use dreadnoughts as walkers i.e. walking wrecking balls.

Vehicle Section

The Tauros is a...peculiar piece of equipment. We first see it in the tutorial mission as first enemy vehicle and remember it as 'that thing that fell apart'. It is, indeed, very fragile. For 250 RP you get a scout unit of 7 with only 1 HP (yikes!) and movement 6. Sight is great with 4 and defence 46. Initiative 7 is o.k. and accuracy is decent: 70%/70% - it beats the basic Sentinel. Armament is a heavy flamer with a range of 1, Strength 40, 4 shots at 100% accuracy and terror trait. The problem is: this unit cannot survive any fire returned. Too few sprites, only one hit and with that kind of weapon not even a glass cannon. For 200 I would get the Salamander Scout which is better in any way. This thing needs to be balanced A.S.A.P.

Tauros Venator
An upgraded version of the Tauros. For 350 RP you will get initiative of 9 while every other stat remains the same. Armament, however is interesting: 2 lascannons (i suppose, they should be twin-linked ones). Like a regular lascannon, only with 2 shots. But wait, there is a drawback: Instead of the Sentinel's lasgun, which has 100% accuracy, this one only has 80%. Why is a twin-linked weapon nerfed over a single shot one? Twin-linked usually ensures better accuracy, not vice versa. Nevertheless, 14 lascannon shots at rather high initiative will take out injured vehicles rather well. But it is a gamble: if something survives, the Venator is toast. I have not used it yet as the RP price is too steep.

Salamander Scout
A sturdy choice for every army. It is only 200 RP and is comparable to the Sentinel statwise but has far better armament. 7 AFVs per unit with 2 HP each, so one less than our walkers.Sight is 4, which is awesome. Defence is 51 which is on par with the Sentinel as well. Initiative 7 is o.k. and base accuracy is 70%/70% which is great. Armament is an autocannon (R1-3;ST40;P10;S3;ACC100/-10%) and the heavy bolter again (R1-3;ST40;P0;S2;ACC100/-10%) which is odd as it is only 2 shots again. I mean, Gorgons have 4 shots with that and fire support squads have 4 shots as well. Who messed up the numbers here? Either way: great choice. You get a good scout unit being able to contribute something to your war efforts. It will shred light infantry and even deal some damage to medium infantry and light vehicles easily. Most armies will have at least one of them, if not more.

Salamander Command
In fact a copy of the Scout variant. Price is steep at 500 RP, you sacrifice 1 point of sight (4->3) and gain +2 initiative over the scout. Important trait it has for its cost are the leadership skill, which boosts morale for adjacent units raising overall efficiency. You might want this over a normal HQ, depending on playstyle. However: as all leadership units, they get pummeled by the AI which seems to be fond of killing HQs.

An anti-aircraft tank. 350 points for 7 sprites with 3 HP each. Movement 4 is fair. Sight is 2 so it needs recon to work properly. Defence is 51, initiative 9 and accuracy 70/70. Armament is wonky. 4 Autocannons it reads. (R1-3;ST30;P0;S2;ACC100/-10%) with a single autogun on the salamander this one is weaker, has no piercing, one shot less and that for combining 4 of those babys. They get AA trait for that which makes flyers lose their evasion bonus...right. This cannot be right. A corrected version would be (R1-3;ST40;P10;S12;ACC100/-10%)...but it has not, sadly. Additionally it sports a heavy bolter that we know already.
Its role should be defending your artillery from flyers. In campaign play there are only few occasions where you need it. Maybe more in multiplayer games. I skip it usually although it is effective versus infantry. Unit seems broken to me in current state.

I like the smell of promethium in the morning. Smells like...victory. Gooooood morning, Armageddon! This unit is a giant flamethrower on a tank. Strangely, it lacks a skill that makes it ignore cover. For 300 RP you will get 7 tanks with 3 HP, 4 movement, sight of 2 and defence of 61 at initiative 6 which is rather low. Accuracy is good with 70%/70% base chance. Each of them comes with a heavy bolter and an Inferno Cannon (R1-2;ST50;P0;S3;ACC100/-10%;TERROR). This thing will incinerate lots of light infantry and also lower their morale tremendously. I usually use them for fun and burning gretchins and slugga mobs - in which case they excel. I have read that a skill called siege is hardcoded in the game but not used. Ignoring cover would really fit to this weapon. Having to get close to the enemy means that you might get casualities quickly.

Bane Wolf
In fact the very same unit as the Hellhound. For +50 RP (350) you will get a +1 on initiative and the awesome Inferno Cannon is replaced by...a Chem Cannon. *scratches head*
Its stats are: (R1-1;ST20;P0;S4;ACC100/-10%;TERROR). So in fact you get a lasgun with double shots at point blank range only. Really, an infantry squad has 60 shots, while this unit has only 28. Yeah, terror it has, but terror does not strike me. S4 is too low. Also it has the well-known heavy bolter. I never used it. Only in the tutorial mission where you get one and this one was even pitted against a destroyer and a macharius. Strange unit and I do not take it - it is not balanced. It should have high piercing as corroding chemicals a seeping through nearly everything and ignore cover. Then we would talk. But in that, Sir.

Devil Dog
Another Hellhound variant which costs +100 over the original. initiative is raised by +2 to 9 and main gun is exchanged with Melta Cannons. (R1-2;ST70;P50;S1;ACC100/-10%;TERROR). This thing is interesting as it can deal with tanks and drop their morale faster and deal with other heavily armoured stuff as well. Drawbacks are only 1 shot and rather weak and small unit. One might try to use it to hurt enemy tanks and vehicles but then it has to close up to the range where it has to face the music and it is not built to do so. Too fragile. Nice for support but for similar points I get either a Destroyer or Thunderer which do more for almost the same cost. Sadly, I do not use them as well as they seem not worth theri salt.

Tank Section

Not counting special regiments like the Catachan Jungle Fighters or the Elysian Shocktroops, the Tank is the backbone of the Astra Militarum. The Empire of Man uses 2 major chassis: the Chimera and the Leman Russ. While the Chimera has its use as troop transport, variants for artillery, recon and even assault forces have been made. The Leman Russ is the Empire's MBT and it is iconic for that. Expect juggernauts of steel armed to the teeth grinding forward and pulverizing anything in their way. Let us take a closer look at the section. At the beginning of the game you only have access to the basic tank configurations i.e. vanilla Leman Russ and direct offspring. Later you will unlock variants tailored to fighting a special foe and of course the super heavy tanks on the chassis of the macharius and the baneblade. These are real behemoths. At all times, keep in mind, that tanks can become VERY expensive RP-wise. Their repairs also won't come in for cheap - so avoid losses! Especially, since most of those come in units of 5 tanks or less which will impair the unit's fighting power by at least 20% per casualty. Tanks cannot fight in close combat - so keep them away from ork hordes. Even gretchins can damage a tank - by luck or sheer numbers. You have been warned, commander!

Leman Russ
This is the most basic tank the Steel Legio will get. And it is also the cheapest. 375 RP is a stealer for stats and armament. Do not expect wonders from this version, but it is sturdy and a good first start.
5 tanks per unit with 3HP each. Movement is 4 with sight 2 added. Defence is 60, which is useful against most small arms fire. Remember: each hit has a 50% chance to inflict a wound. By comparison, each point defence over weapons strength will reduce this chance by 1% (or increments of 10 for 10%), so basically, if you are 50% over weapons strength, you are immune to that damage. Just avoid big mobs because even if it tickles, in numbers there will be the odd shot to punch through. Avoid dedicated AT guns like Zzap-weapons or cannons. Also, keep in mind that ork close combat weapons mostly come with piercing value so keep away from melee at all costs. Weaponry on this baby is basic: a battlecannon (R1-3;ST70;P0;S1;ACC100/-10%) and the already known lascannon, which is a bit weaker. I would expect the battlecannon to have more shots to reflect the AoE their shells have but I guess at that high strength bonus damage rules will apply and a salvo will inflict more than one wound. Against Tanks it is mediocre. It lacks piercing value to be truly efficient. It is a jack of all trades unit. It will work against almost everything, but specialized equipment is better. Use them as piggybank for XP. Invest 300 now and improve later for less.

Leman Russ (upgraded)
Let us add some sponsond to our MBT. This comes at a price: with 550 RP this version costs 175 points more than the basic version. By doing so, some stats increase: defence increases by 5 to 65 and initiative gets a huge boost of 4 to 9. Also, ranged accuracy improves to 70 - so it is a reasonable price. We get another weapon system: 2 Heavy Bolters in sponsons. Their stats are as usual with the odd 3 shots instead of 4. I still do not know whether this weapon fires twice since there are 2 of them on each tank or if that is just the name and the realization in the code was sloppy. Usually, this is the tank most players will field in the early campaign stages. It works very well and decimates ork mobs easily. Against later ork tanks it becomes more and more unreliable and inefficient. Again, a jack of all trades unit, but better overall.

Leman Russ (armour upgrade)
Let us pay 450 RP instead to buy this version. Weapon configuration remains the same as the vanilla Leman Russ but defence is improved to 75 and initiative is raised to 7. 15 points of defence is a difference you will feel. It just lacks the bite of the more sohisticated versions of the Leman Russ.

Leman Russ (dozer upgrade)
This is a cheaper version of the upgraded Leman Russ. It only comes at a cost of 475 RP, but has only initiative 7 and also the ranged accuracy is not boosted. It has a dozer blade, but I do not know the benefit of this thing. Movement points are the same so maybe something is hidden in the code when it comes to terrain types. Consider this as a minor upgrade to the vanilla Russ.

Leman Russ (weapon upgrade)
Tanks can get even more expensive. This variant costs 580 RP and adds better sponson weapons to our tank. Stats are as the vanilla Russ with the exception of defence, which is 65 and initiative, which is 9. The heavy Bolters have been replaced with plasma cannons (although the list reads plasma cannon which means 1). Its stats are (R1-2;P30;S2;ACC100/-10%) I wonder, as the plasma cannon is know to be an AoE weapon, is this reflected by having 2 shots? If yes, then only one weapon is counted, but the tank has 2 of them. Again, sloppy coding when the units were created? The plasma cannons enhance the tank's battleworthyness versus a wide spectrum of units in range 2. Piercing 30 with this tremendous strength means lots of bonus damage chances on infantry and good armour penetration on tanks. Prolonged fire exchange, however will cause attrition, so be careful using this unit. It might be better to 'train' this unit a bit meaning leveling up a veteran Leman Russ to get more initiative so it will not receive more hits. A sturdy choice for a reasonable price.

Leman Russ Annihilator
Basically, a Leman Russ, where we swap out the main cannon for a turret with twin-linked lascannons. Now, this one thing that irks me very much. In this game, twin-linked weapons are worse than single ones. The lascannon comes with an extra shot but has an accuracy penalty of 20 so only 80% of base chance-to-hit. This is so wrong. It should be one shot with increased accuracy beyond 100% like 125% or 150%. In the tabletop games, twinlinked weapons had a re-roll for misses. In this game, they are crap. I do not know whether I would spend 650 RP for a nerfed battlecannon...rather not.

Leman Russ Annihilator Upgrade A
Strange enough, there is no upgrade B or C. From the picture, a dozer blade is attached. It costs even more than the Annihilator (750RP) and has Defence 70 instead as well as initiative of 11 (THAT's something!) and improved ranged accuracy of 70. It really needs it as its main weapon is our nerf-gun, the twin-linked lascannon. Hull-mounted lascannon (better one) included. For that points I forgo this equipment. Anybody there with some XP on it?

Leman Russ Conqueror
For 500 RP you can have one squadron of these. Stats are o.k. with defence of 65. Really interesting is the accuracy of 80/80. +15% over most models. Let us take a closer look at the main gun: The Conqueror Cannon has comparable range to the Battlecannon but swaps 10 points of strength for 10 points of piercing. (R1-3;ST60;P10;S1;ACC100/-10%). At first glance this looks very much the same, so why bother? Is there a hidden benefit? Let us ask the Ordo Mathematicus: If Defence of a unit is compared with the strength of a unit via subtraction...
(Def - Piercing) - Strength = Wound modifier. Let us assume Defence as 60 and fire our guns:
Battlecannon: Modifier = D60 - P0 -S70 = Mod-10
Conqueror: Modifier = D60 - P10 - S60 = Mod-10
I wonder, if the bonus damage rule applies by comparison of unmodified defence value versus strength or modified value. In the first case, the battlecannon would still be superior, in the second case, there would be no difference. Canon says, that a Conqueror Cannon can be shot while the tank is moving at higher speed - it is more accurate. It has lower callibre thus lacks the punch. I would understand, if that thing would lose the accuracy penalty for range, but no. There is another thing, that might tilt our favor towards the conqueror, however: It has coaxial stormbolters. This is an additional weapon with the stats (R1-2;ST30;P0;S3;ACC100%-10%). Because the conqueror is a marksman in the tank class, we might not abandon it for other, pricier choices. It will seem, that more shots will connect than compared to a vanilla Leman Russ and even the upgraded version. This needs more playtesting. I guess this one will become more useful on higher difficulties as RP become scarce. Standard-issue lascannon included.

Leman Russ Demolisher
This is a heavy close support tank. To reflect this role it has more armour than the Standard Leman Russ. It costs 475 points which is rather cheap. Statwise, it has improved armour of 75 and initiative of 6 while all other stats remain the same as the vanilla version. The armament is tailored to close range. First, the turred sports the feared demolisher cannon. (R2-2;ST75;P25;S4;Acc100/-10%). This gun is nasty as these are many shots with high strength and good piercing. This will hurt many target types. For even closer range, since at range 1 there is a gap, it has a heavy flamer. (R1-1;S40;P0;S4;ACC100/-10%) with the terror trait. This is a nice tank, good for the second battleline. This tank has some means to protect itself from quick target which would under-run his minimum range of 2. The heavy flamer will make them regret this. I am a friend of the demolisher cannon. It is very effective and the price of this unit is rather cheap. Close range, however means, that you must play it carefully.

Leman Russ Eradicator
At the cost of 600 RP we will get a slightly buffed Leman Russ. Armour is 65 and initiative is 7. Everything else is the same. Hull-mounted lascannon is replaced by a heavy bolter which does not sound like a real improvement to me. The Nova Cannon it mounts in its turret demands a closer look: (R1-2;ST90;P20;S2;ACC100/-10%). At first glance this looks like an alternative to the demolisher. We will give up 2 shots of a very good weapon for a weapon with even more Dakka. Strength 90 means more bonus damage - there is a small shift in the chance of inflicting multiple wounds. Yet, I find this design rather dull. I mean, the demolisher cannon has almost the same range, but more attacks. The eradicator might be slightly better, when it comes to shred dreadnoughts or other tanks because of the higher strength. But I am sceptical, whether this makes the price of 600 RP reasonable. This one would be a good point to discuss.

Leman Russ Executor
On the table, this is one of my favorites. I own a Forge World tower to convert one of my Leman Russ at demand. It costs 600 RP and has minor improvements over the improved Russ. Defence went up by 3 to 68 but initiative was lowered by 1 to 8. Still not bad, but no improvement really. So the weapon must be the good part. The fearsome Plasma Destroyer comes with those stats: (R1-2;ST60;P30;S3;ACC100/-10%). This is much better than a battlecannon. Trading 10 points of strength for 30 piercing is very good. 2 more shots as well. You just have to cope with the reduced range. It needs to be within 2 so it will face return fire of units it has shot. Sadly, it lacks sponsons.

Leman Russ Exterminator
Another happy member of the favored Leman Russ family of tanks. It costs 500 RP, which is reasonable. Stats are similar to the vanilla Russ with the exception of defence which is 65 and initiative which is 9. Main gun was replaced with a twin-linked autocannon which is 2 autocannons here. Strangely enough, this autocannon is the same as on the salamander scout, but has +10 strength. This time no accuracy penalty. Wonky indeed. Since it has no sponsons, it lacks its bite. On table i always play this with sponson heavy bolters to maximize destruction on infantry. I even swap out lascannon for 3rd heavy bolter. But in this game it comes with the standard lascannon so rather useless for either role of tank-killer and infantry-murderer. I do not use it.

Leman Russ Punisher
600 RP and we get some kind of heavy bolter on steroids. Improved stats are the defence value with 68, initiative which is 9 and the formidable punisher cannon: (R1-2;ST40;P0;S8;ACC100/-10%). and also a heavy bolter, this time with only 2 shots. Someone should get those stats right, seriously. It is annoying. The very high number of attacks makes it a real meatgrinder and decimates ork mobs quickly. However, closing up to range 2 is dangerous and as it is a heavy bolter on steroids, it is nearly useless versus tanks. Sadly, it lacks sponson weapons. I have tried it out already and while it is fun, losses add up quickly and frankly, a thunderer would be the better choice in my book.

Leman Russ Vanquisher
This is the version everybody likes to have. And it is the most expensive one: 750 RP to buy one. Initiative and ranged accuracy have been increased: 11 and 70%, which is really good. Many people like the Vanquisher because of its awesome gun and use its range of 4 to snipe targets almost every time. Well, let's take a look at the weapon: (R-4;ST75;P50;S2;ACC100/-10%). You will get a lot of high strength shots, but will lose 30% of them due to poorer accuracy at range. Piercing 50 will let look targets like they were made from tinfoil, which is good in my book. Mind, that there is no lascannon but a stormbolter so maximum damage is dealt at range 2 where casualties will be likely - and frankly, repair costs are steep! Losses during a mission can and will ruin your day. Defence 65 is not that great. Overrated in my book. To kill infantry, I go for the much cheaper thundere, for tanks the more accurate destroyer. Usually, I have 2 or 3 of the Vanquishers in my army, but not more. Other variants are useful as well.

A dedicated tank-hunter reminding me of the German Hetzer tank. This one has no turret but a single hull-mounted weapon, the laser destroyer. The Destroyer and its sister tank the Thunderer are faster than Leman Russ tanks - they have movement 5 instead of 4. Increased mobility make them ideal firefighters going hither an to at the frontline where they are needed most.The Destroyer mounts a single weapon, the Laser Destroyer (R1-4;ST90;P45;S1;ACC100/0%). The first thing to come in mind is, that both strength and piercing are awesome and will hurt everything equally hard besides titan-class warmachines. True, it is only 5 shots, but they come with no range penalty, so there is no reason to go closer than range 4. Basic accuracy of the tank is great: 80%/80% makes it a real sniper. I really like this tank and use it often. Used properly, it will not take any casualties during a mission. In the lategame, however, keep in mind that the orks will field range 4 guns of their own. Maybe then it would be a good time to upgrade to Shadowsword Super Heavy Tank. Until that time, it is great for its cost.

Destroyer (upgraded)
Not much to say. It costs 480 instead of 450 RP and you get defence 70, initiative 11 and accuracy 90/90 - insane! Almost every shot will count! This upgrade is mandatory if you have destroyers. You will love it - with capital letters!

Thunderer Siege Tank
A cheap alternative to the Leman Russ Demolisher - for 400 RP. In fact a demolisher cannon on a stick. A faster stick. Having no other weapon is no big drawback. Just keep it at range 2 and watch it blast up stuff. Initiative of this one is 8, so 2 points more than the Demolisher. I usually have 1 or 2 of them in my army. They make big holes in almost everything and make short work of mobs and light vehicles. Give them some cover and they are very happy.

Thunderer (upgraded)
Upgrade the Thunderer for +50RP and improve its stats: Armour will raise to 70 which is very good and initiative to 11 which is even better in terms of durability. Extra bonus: Accuracy also is boosted by +5 to 70%. If that is no bargain, then I do not know. If you already have Thunderers, then you want this as well.

Re: Sharing war experiences (Yet another guide?)

Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:40 pm
by Parallax
Thanks for summary :) I want to share my experience too
DocDesastro wrote:Also, the AI seems to attack certain units more happier than others. Auxilliary units are such a thing. The AI is also happy to attack all other infantry, mainly, because I believe, is to prevent you from winning the game.
If enemy see your SL Company Command, they will attack this unit (my expirience) with all his ranged weapons. Don't use CC unit on front line :)
DocDesastro wrote:Leadership adds +25 Morale to neighbouring units per turn making them more deadly.
I thought leadership units restores 10 morale. I need to test this :oops: Don't forget about "Hero" units wich restores full morale.
DocDesastro wrote:Compare the Wyvern with the Deathstrike. Which one would you prefer?
Wyvern or Deathstrike? Medusa! One love :D You can gain full XP at 4 or 5th mission of original campaign
DocDesastro wrote:Support fire is your friend
I think Ork Hunters campaign could be beaten with support units only :D
DocDesastro wrote:Recon is the key: Salamander Scouts
I have 4-5 Salamander Scouts at the end of the game. They gain experience extremely fast. They shred ork infantry, easily destroy artillery and, after reaching high experience, can shred even medium ork tanks. But they die much often beause of their dangerous duty
DocDesastro wrote:Recon is the key: Ratling Snipers
Gain experience faster than other infantry except support units. I use them in attack missions, gain lot of XP and convert in assault infantry. In "last stand" missions they have very low DPT (damage per turn). I prefer to convert them in support or assault units.
DocDesastro wrote:Transport vehicles are useful
I have never considered transports as attacking unit, before i meet Thraka's transport in late Da Orks mission. Fully experienced transport with artillery cannon destroy titans with 2-3 shots! I found another two good transports later. Gorgon - the best transport for steel legion (11 three-tile range attacks one on wich is indirect!). Now i pick this unit as a transport for my 2-range infantry. Land Raider - terminator's transport. You can't pick simple Land Raider as tank, but can as a transport. In my opinion, this LR better against enemy heavy tanks than other land raiders in tanks section.
DocDesastro wrote:Steel Legion Company Command
Before 1.08 patch, you can pick this unit at tutorial missions and this unit is very powerful for early missions. You can shred enemy mechanized units with low cost if you afraid to lose your mechanized units in returning fire. Using this information, i found that it's better to attack enemy high-range tanks and battlefortresses with assault units with high piercing melee weapons than attack them directly with your tanks. Space Marines assault squads, command squads, assault terminators are good and "cheap" for this purpose. And Captain Tycho is one of my favourite tank-hunters :)
DocDesastro wrote:Steel Legion Conscripts
Before i played Da Orks campaign, i haven't used conscripts at all. But in orks DLC i found that squigs and gretchins are very good "attack-attractors". Now i use this type of units to reduce my loses of most valuable units. Conscripts - is the same units but for Steel Legion. And actually i think it's better to not use them with support units, cause if you not killed attacking unit with the first strike this unit gives line of sight on your support unit and most powerfull enemy units begin to attack support unit wich have very high cost.

Re: Sharing war experiences (General XP/Unit Analysis/WIP)

Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:52 pm
by DocDesastro
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and comments - this is really helpful! Maybe we can get a decent and detailled unit guide after all :)

Re: Sharing war experiences (General XP/Unit Analysis/WIP)

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:34 am
by sinbuster
Nice write-up. I just completed the main campaign again for like the 4th time. Such a fun game.

Parallax raises a number of key points. AI loves to target Command units. Incidentally, I usually have three command units by end game: a salamander command, a SM Command squad, and Captain Tycho of course. I use them mostly for initial recon, followed by morale boosting, then mopping up. Morale boosting is key for unlimited offensives, and with three command units I can support three assaults simultaneously.

I found the main campaign is about limiting casualties because resources are often scarce. Conscripts are great for missions like the defense of Acheron where they absorb all the AI damage and cost nothing to replace. I can do that mission with ease now - which is a shame because if you don't lose an objective it ends abruptly.

As far as Legion units specifically:

Infantry: Snipers are soft, the AI loves to attack them, and their job can be done by command, walkers, or scouts early on, and by titans later. Support units are your friend, at least early on, but unlike the SM campaigns - or Ork Hunters - they start to lose their usefulness as the Legion goes on the offensive. The anti-tank unit is a personal favourite early on because of its high initiative. Infantry is mostly for capturing hexes. By end game I have maybe five at most. If they're at the front taking losses, I'm doing something wrong.

Tanks: Regular Legion tanks are soft as butter and cost too much to replace all the time. AI loves to attack soft targets which means anything less than 90 armour is in trouble. I usually have three or four tanks mostly as placeholders for when I can get the uber tanks - usually armoured-up leman russ for the first chapter. Uber tanks are better because they have more HP (and better armour of course). More HP means fewer loses, means saving resources. The key stat for me is high initiative. The destroyer can become a fairly formidable tank destroyer but it's soft. The real hero is the Shadowsword. A Shadowsword with a targetter upgrade is hands down the most deadly anti tank weapon in the game. When you inflict 20 HP in damage to unit before it can even respond, you know you've made it. Again, tanks are not for the front line.

Artillery: The key to any Steel Legion army. My bread and butter is the Basilisk. Six range is more than enough for every enemy you face. The only unit it doesn't damage is the Gargant, but you can eventually wear down its morale over time. Who cares though when you have anti-tank units like Shadowswords, Titans, or Sanguinary guards. Of course the Deathstrike can obliterate armour but they are kinda niche. I actually prefer a couple medusa instead; they are better at smashing entrenched infantry. The whole purpose of my artillery is destroying morale. Morale is red, now it's dead!

Aircraft: Ok initiative but far too soft, and expensive, for my tastes.

I'll leave the SM until DocDecastro gets to them, but it's fair to say Dreadnoughts are far and away my go-to units.

Re: Sharing war experiences (General XP/Unit Analysis/WIP)

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:22 pm
by DocDesastro
I noted your influx and added your experience about HQ units into the guide above. Thanks, both Parallax and sinbuster. Will continue to add to the guide when I have spare time (which is - unfortunately not this weekend). But I'd like to cover the Steel Legion first and then after that the Space Marine units. I will keep playing and watching lets plays to gather more information.
@sinbuster: regarding the Destroyer I would rather have the upgraded destroyer above the standard Shadowsword. The version with the upgraded targetter however...this is the stuff I would trade the nimble tankhunters in for.
While looking through the unit stats i realized that some units have identical weapons but different number of shots- This cannot be right. A heavy Bolter is a Heavy Bolter - no matter if mounted on a Chimera, a Leman Russ or a standard-issue guardsman. Posted a Bug report. Maybe you find such oddities as well. The Hydra is such a thing. an autocannon has 3 shots. Why should 4 Autocannons have 2 shots, and not 3*4=12?

Added vehicle section to Steel Legion units
Doing so, I found many units broken, bugged or both. I guess, some parts of the game were coded sloppily, because the units won't work as they would do in canon gameplay (real tabletop).

Re: Sharing war experiences (General XP/Unit Analysis/WIP)

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:05 pm
by DocDesastro
Let us continue here, since the maximum of letters you may write are 60.000 - which we would pass here.

Super Heavy Tanks

Upon defeating the last stand mission in the campaign and successful delay of the ork hordes, the Space Marines intervene and save the day. After that mission, super heavy tanks will be unlocked. You already saw one of them in the training mission, where you had to cross a bridge your rival defended. He was in possession of a Macharius tank, one of the first items you will get. Let us be straight about one thing. Super Heavy tanks are awesome, fluff-wise. Huge heaps of reinforced steel bristling with enough weapons to level a small city. Let us also be honest about one thing: they are slow as hell and the units contain very few sprites which nerfs their overall effectiveness a bit again. Basically, you get to choose between two designs: The Macharius Tank and the Baneblade with all its variants. The greatest advantage of super heavy tanks is their durability and loads of HP. It is unlikely that you will lose sprites if you play them correctly so all XP those units do will transfer unchanged into the next mission. With enough XP they become very deadly. Their greatest issue is their lack of mobility, a fact that you will curse in every mission where you are required to pass a bottleneck or run the clock. Many players might think 'Hey, I can have Baneblades now - let's upgrade every tank I have!'. I have done this before and it was no good. By doing so you deprive your army speed and to make things worse, you have access to space marines who are very quick so you always run into danger of having your forces divided instead of fighting united. There are certain situations, where they are just great, but other options will do as well. Let's take a closer look at them:

Let us talk about the Macharius Chassis first:
A Macharius is an improvement over a Leman Russ - that is for sure. Better armour, better ranged accuracy, more HP and sometimes more weaponry. Macharius Tanks come in units of 3 and 5HP each so quite durable but far from being immune to enemy fire.

For 690 RP we get a unit with a movement of 3 and 2 sight and 7 initiative. Defence is 85, which is better than Leman Russ can ever offer but hit with the correct weapon still will fail you. The high ranged accuracy of 85 is an asset only to be beaten by the upgraded destroyer. The weapons on the Macharius will count...well, at least so you think.
Main armament is a dual battlecannon. Their stats are like the regular one except the strength is 90 instead of 70 and it has 2 shots instead of 1. So a definitive improvement. You will get a shot for free in fact by upgrading a Leman Russ Tank. Higher accuracy will ensure it will count and improved strenght will do bonus damage more likely. The secondary armament, however is sub-par. 2 heavy bolters only with 3 shots and 2 heavy stubbers, which are awful weapons. Look at their stats: (R1-3;ST30;P0;S3;ACC75/-10%) so basically the heavy stubber is inaccurate by nature and even worse a distance. I would not expect a big difference when compared with an upgraded Leman Russ except for durability reasons. Having better choices, makes it even worse to see this one.

Macharius Vulcan
Called after the Vulcan Mega-Bolter, which is titan-class weaponry, this is somewhat the bigger brother of the Leman Russ Punisher. The megabolter is a nasty piece of anti-infantry firepower with the following stats: (R1-4;ST50;P0;S8;ACC100/-10%). This is supplemented with 2 heavy bolters and the heavy stubbers. I would consider optimum range at 2 for effect. But in that case I would rather have the Punisher. We are talking about 16 more shots from the main gun only because they have 5 units instead of 3. The megabolter has its advantages, however as it is effective against more kinds of foes like light vehicles and meaner ork mobs like nobz. Also, having range 4 is an asset but you will lose shots to reduced accuracy. Remember: range 4 is somewhat dilluted when facing a -30% accuracy penalty at that range. Since infantry tends to stand in cover, this is decreased additionally to make things worse. This is a great defensive unit. When the mobs will close up to you, it will make short work of them, but if you need to carry the fight to them, it is not that good. It is nice to try one out, but I'd rather not have more in my army.

You might have expected this one already? Good. It is iconic and you wanna get hold onto it, right? Price is steep: 840 RP in fact. Only 2 sprites in one unit so be careful not to lose one as it cuts its battleworthyness to 50%. 10HP ensure that it will stay in battle for long as does a defence of 90. This will shrug off many shots and will render it invulnerable to small arms fire completely. Initiative 9 is good to start with but ranged accuracy is insane: 90. Since you access the Baneblades together with the Macharius tanks, this is the reason, why you will take those instead of them. They are better overall. Let us take a look at the armament:
It has more weapons than vanilla game can and will support. 2 lascannons are omitted, but shown on the model. We have a Baneblade Cannon, which works very much like the Vanquisher cannon. It is just much more powerful with strength 100. Combined with piercing 40 this might lead to insta-kill situations on light units. Here the stats: (R1-4;ST100;P40;S2;ACC100/-10%). It comes together with a demolisher cannon and 5 heavy bolters (4 shots this time). Face it, someone di not his homework, when adding the weapons. In fact, there is a single heavy bolter and two twin-linked heavy bolters on side sponsons. Some weapons are messed up in this game. Does one want to have it? Definitively! It is a great improvement over the Vanquisher in terms of weaponry and durability. Just be careful to have other, mobile units in your army as well as these tanks will slow you down and there is a danger of beeing bogged down by the orks so you lose missions because of you being too greedy for new toys with big guns. The optimum range in my book is 2 where Baneblade Cannon and Demolisher Cannon will combine their destructive force and level almost everything in their path with the heavy bolters to mop up.

Baneblade (upgraded)
If you already like the Baneblade, you will love this: 940 RP and some nice stat improvements. Defence raises to 95, initiative to 12 and accuracy to 90. On top of this package, the Heavy Bolter gains an additonal shot. Mandatory upgrade, if you have Baneblades in your army.

An odd piece of equipment. 790 RP and same stats. What do we get as a change in weaponry? Well, 6 heavy bolters with 6 comments here. I said enough about this already. 2 lascannons, yes the neutered ones with only 80% accuracy. And finally we get a Tremor Cannon. Sounds really earthshaking, huh? It is not. An earthshaker like the one on the Basilisk tanks can fire indirectly, while this one cannot. Is it comparable to the Medusa? No, sir. Medusa Siege gun is better. We get the following: (R1-4;ST50;P30;S2;ACC100/-10%). Underwhelming. You might want a Baneblade over this heap of bolts every time. I can see no benefit but a need to being reworked.

Ahh, titan killers at last. Many out there just love this thing. Same stats as the Baneblade? No, and this difference is important! Ranged accuracy dropped to 80%. Right, this is worse. We pay 890 points for this thing carrying the fearsome Volcano Cannon. (R1-4;ST150;P50;S2;ACC100/-10%). Also 4 heavy bolters - this time: 4 shots (duh!). Now, the hillarious strength alone combined with the high piercing will damage almost everything for sure with chance of insta-kills on lower units. But, keep in mind, that the Volcano Cannon deteriorates with range and you do not have many shots - only 4 to be precise. Add ranged accuracy of 80 and compare this with the 5 shots of a squadron of upgraded Destroyer tanks. Sure, less strenght - 'only' 90 but piercing is almost the same and overall accuracy higher: 90% base and no deterioration over range. I am unsure about this one. Less initiative as a Destroyer, worse at range 4, slower...nope. I think, I would stick to the upgraded Destroyer unless there is an upgrade to this unit (which I need to unlock first). My advice for you? WAIT! Be patient for there will be better options later. Be happy with the Upgraded Destroyer for 480 points. You do not want to make things worse for +410 RP.

Shadowsword (Targetter upgrade)
990 RP for this improved version of the titan-killer. You will get no new weapons, but a tremendous stat increase: Defence is 90, initiative raises to 12 and the best part: accuracy raises to 100. Now the Volcano Cannon will become very useful. This is the point, where upgrading existing Destroyers would be a great idea unless you want to keep the speed.

Shadowsword (Weapon upgrade)
Whopping 1090 RP for this one, a price you almost pay for titans. While statwise nothing much changes besides initiative to 10, 4 lascannons are added with the following stats: (R1-3;ST85;P30;S2;ACC100/-10%). Which is very odd. 2 lascannons are worse than one, but 4 again are double that good with a bit of sugar on the top. I hate the way the game includes those weapons. Also, 8 heavy bolters are added which is 5 shots, logically. *rolls eyes*
Either way, I prefer the targetter upgrade. The weapon upgrade is a realy nasty beast, but an improved Baneblade is o.k. as well and cheaper. To maximize titan-killer capabilities, one would need the targetters. Nevertheless, if you already have Shadowswords in your army, then upgrades are mandatory one way or the other. Just fit your way of playing.

700 RP, rather cheap. And note, that this one is faster! 4 movement instead of 3. only comes with one weapon, the Hellhammer Cannon. (R1-2;ST80;P60;S1;ACC100/-10%). And now we know, why we won't like it. The gun is a total shame. We get 2 shots...really? At range 2? Give me a unit of Thunderers instead, please. They are better than this! Enough said.

Stormsword (upgrade)
An attempt to make its predecessor useful. For 850 RP the tank transforms into a kind of siege specialist. The Hellhammer Cannon is kept, which should come with perks like terror and siege but doesn't and 2 Heavy Flamers are added which we already know from other chassis. 6 shots for those - i guess, someone has finally calculated right: 3 shots per weapon times 2. Also 4 heavy bolters are added which contribute 4 shots over a range of 3. I am contemplating to try one of these as replacement for my Thunderers. This version is more versatile, very much like a big Demolisher tank. Sadly, speed has dropped to 3 again. Mandatory initiative buff from 9 to 12 included. Worth a try in my book.

Nice concept of interchangeble name parts, huh? Now we need a Shadowlord, a..duh! 790 RP is the pricetag of this one. We get a Megabolter we already know from the Macharius Vulcan, 2 lascannens (nerf version) and 4 heavy bolters - 4 shots this time. The megabolter system is worth a consideration and secondary armament is superior to the Macharius, but still the dual lascannon is sub-par and because it is only 2 sprites now, we even lose 8 more shots of the megabolter. I guess, there are more efficient tanks. This is rather sad as the superheavies should be an asset for your army, but it crystallizes to only 2 or 3 worth their salt.

Stormlord (upgraded)
890 RP this one is priced. You get the obvious initiative increase to 12, defence increase to 95 as on almost every improved version but the shadowsword ones and 2 more heavy bolters are added, increasing the shots to 5. Still a questionable choice in my book.

This one has a nice gun for 790 RP but beware: accuracy has been nerfed to 80% again. The plasma blastgun has the following stats: (R1-3;ST120;P40;S2;ACC100/-10%). At first glance this looks very much like a cheaper Shadowsword. I would not deny that. The gun is a bit worse as it lacks range, strenght and piercing. Supplementary weapons are the nerf-lascannon we already loathe and 4 heavy bolters - this time: 4 shots. Frankly, If you can have a Shadowsword - why bother with this one? I see no reason to field these. Et tu, Brute?

Stormblade (upgraded)
Also at 890 RP there are stat improvements for initiative to 12 and defence to 95. I am currently testing one of those and results are o.k. It does not work miracles but is a sturdy piece of equipment with good damage potential. Worst part is 'only' ranged accuracy 80. I guess, one would still fare better with a Shadowsword, but this is a fluffy unit.

Here we have the odd piece of super heavy artillery. I wonder, why this was placed here and not with the artillery tanks?! For 790 points we get decent stats and a Quake Cannon mounted to the hull. (R3-/;S90;P25;S3;ACC100/-10%). Supplementary weapons are 2 lascannons of needless nerfing and 6 heavy bolters (5 shots). At first, you might think: Cool, a BETTER Basilisk. Like the best of the Medusa Tank with the range of the Basilisk and more! Yes, it might look like this, but mind the -10% tag on the weapon. The Earthshaker Cannon has no deteriorating accuracy for range making it a true piece of artillery. Although this one is bulky and fires indirectly as well, the -10% penalty will start to suck at long range. Bad enough that there are only 2 guys in a unit and the additional weapons are useless at distance. Both the Medusa and the Basilisk will outperform this piece of equipment in terms of accuracy rendering it a complete waste of RP. A shame.

Banesword (upgraded)
Minor upgrade of the Banesword. Still an odd piece of artillery with small stat improvements. Defence and initiative have been raised to 95 and 12 like the rest of the family. Still, I cannot see, what this will do over real artillery besides replacing the Medusa Tanks one already has. Still I think, Medusa tank units have more shots that count, but I may be wrong. Testing will be done to ensure no false information is spread here. I can see it quite effective on a rane of 3, but then, so are other superheavies. This one, however, is the only one capable of shoting indirectly and might add some anti-titan firepower to your arsenal. Maybe a good alternative to the Deathstrike but I doubt it. Shots will deteriorate over range tremendously as this weapon still has to -10% per hex - which it should not have.

Artillery Section

Let us discuss the big guns here. First, as Steel Legion you will need them to grind down the huge mobs the orks are fielding. There is some specialized artillery to cover a certain task. We have support mortars, direct-firing howitzers and long range guns. Even rocket artillery will be added later for titan-killing capabilities.

Roughly, you can say, that your own artillery should engage big ork mobs primarily. Most pieces lack the strength to tackle tanks or have to endanger themselves to do so. Artillery comes with a reasonable number of sprites per unit so attack number will be o.k. Defence is poor so it is easily destroyed in a single engagement, so keep them away from the orks. The Wyvern and Griffon are support-weapon platforms lending valuable fire support to adjacant units attacked by foolish orks and can also be used to clear out entrenched orks. The Bombard is something intermediate to long-range artillery. Higher strength but lacking support ability. The Medusa tank is a kind of siege howitzer capable to make big holes. I'd like to call it a demolisher cannon on steroids, as range 4 with no accuracy penalties and high strength and piercing make it effective against almost everything besides stuff with range 4. The Basilisk is your bread and butter artillery piece capable to deliver long range salvos from safe distance. It is, however, rather weak compared to the medusa, which cannot fire indirectly. Last, but not least, later you will get the deathstrike. This is a titan-killer and not much more. It will hurt small units with bigtime HP but will do nothing more. Shots on mobs are usually wasted. This one trashes battlefortresses, big tanks and gargants from very long range. Mind the great minimum range you have to calculate with. It is always a good idea to let artillery engage the enemy as morale is depressed so that the other units attacking will get less trouble from orks firing back at them. A mix of artillery is always advised as you will end up in different situations where some pieces will shine and some not.

First, let us talk about the general stats, because all tanks are very similar. All units but the Deathstrike have 5 sprites with 2HP so they are rather squishy. Movement of 4 is common as is initiative of 2 and accuracy of 70. Sight is 1 so they need eyes or will be useless.

This is a close support mortar carrier which costs 600 RP. Its defence is 46 and it fields the Stormshard Mortar - in fact, two of them with the following stats: (R2-3;S35;P0;S4;ACC100/0) so we see, that range does not decrease chance to hit as is true with all artillery pieces and their main weaponry. The Stormshard fires indirectly and its good number of shots will decimate ork mobs quite well. One would think and compare this piece with the infantry version, the mortar teams, which have more team members and shots. However, ranged accuracy is increased so more of the wyvern's shots will connect and strength is a bit higher. It is only 5 points but everything counts. A heavy bolter is added which provides 2 more shots at range 1-3. The main role of this piece of equipment would be colse support of tanks and infantry. It has the skills support and indirect, so it will lay down fire on enemies attacking adjacent units. I have found out, that range 3 however is not too great to keep these tanks out of trouble, so careful placement is a must. Use cover wherever you can and best place them behind a unit in terrain blocking LoS, so the enemy cannot see and target it. During campaign play the slightest mistake can cost you this unit. However, units with the support skill are very valuable and will keep losses at other units small by decimating attackers. There is no upgrade for this unit.

This one costs 500 RP and the only difference to the Wyvern is its armament. It has a heavy mortar with the following stats: (R2-3;ST50;P10;S2;ACC100/0) and the hull-mounted heavy bolter. We can see, that this unit trades number of shots for superior firepower. This unit will be useful versus light vehicles and even walkers as well and is more likely to inflict multiple wounds per hit, compensating for its lower number of shots. All other things said for the Wyvern are true for the Griffon as well - i find it more versatile than the Wyvern, however - but I like both pieces. They are cool.

This unit costs 700 points and fields a gun with more range and hitting power than the 2 mortar carriers before. The Heavy Siege Mortar (which lacks a siege skill, strangely) has the stats (R3-5;ST60;P20;S2;ACC100/0). Also firing idirectly, this gun is bulky, however and will not fire back, when this unit is attacked, which is a problem, most artillery pieces have. Mind, that this unit has no support skill, which is o.k. because support range is under minimum range of this piece. This is useful before you get Basilisk tanks. Just ask yourself, whether having +10 strength and +10 piercing are worth trading away the support skill. I would sucggest you do not trade away all artillery for this one but keep close support integral to your army. Hull-mounted heavy bolter included, so best range is 3.

Medusa Siege Tank and Medusa Armageddon Pattern
I will cover this 2 models in one section, as they differ only in defence value. First, the Medusa wil cost 600RP and has even less armour than the other tanks: 41. It also sports a direct fire weapon making it a bit of an assault howitzer. Having to have direct line of sight to the enemy means, that if you make mistakes, you will lose this unit rather quickly. The main gun, however makes quite large holes and is very destructive even in the late game. My campaign currently is in Act 2 and I still have 2 of those and they do a good job. Stats of the Medusa Siege Mortar are (R3-4;ST90;P20;S3;ACC100/0). In fact, these are a very good compromise to the Destroyer Tank hunters and the Thunderer tanks. Ample supply of hard-hitting firepower in good numbers. Loses value, however, if enemy is entrenched, but such a weapon with no range penalty is awesome. The upgraded version comes at +100 RP and just adds to defense making it 48 - which still is not much but better than nothing. Hull-mounted heavy bolter included. Beware: weapon is bulky, so no retaliation fire from this one!

Basilisk and Armageddon Pattern Basilisk
Your bread and butter gun. For 800 RP you will get a unit with good stats besides defence (41) that will start hurting your opponent from range and even out of sight. An earthshaker cannon has the following stats: (R3-6;ST40;P20;S3;ACC100/0). We see, that the Strength of this weapon is medioce and that it is best used against ork mobs and light targets. Rather high cadence also makes it useful against other targets, but do not expect too many wounds when trying to use this versus tanks or even gargants. Main role should be thinning out units too big to cope with which are mobs and light to medium vehicles. Expect high XP levels built up over time as you will rather get no casualties in those units. The Armageddon pattern adds 7 points of defence making it 48 for +100 RP. I always upgrade for fluff reasons but since this won't face the music this is rather wasted. Also, it has the mandatory hull-mounted heavy bolter and bulky weapon so no retailation fire either.

Whopping 1050 points so think carefully whether to upgrade units to this. It also has one vehicle less so only 4 and to make it even worse, defence dropped to 30 with no upgrades possible. As compensation it carries the awesome deathstrike missile (R4-7;ST100;P50;S1;ACC100/0) and this is also the greatest weakness: the units will fire only once per vehicle so 4 shots at best. High Strength and piercing will make bonus damage and even insta-kills likely but its best use is against super heavy stuff. Fire it at gargants and battlefortresses for optimum effect. This is at least, what those were built for. I strongly suggest you will not upgrade all of your artillery to this. You will kill big targets very quickly, yes, but the main bulk of an ork army are mobs and other critter stuff in numbers. Switching all out on those will give the rest of your army a harder time as their support is gone.


The first thing about flyers is, that they are fragile as raw eggs. Their greatest asset is their movement which ignores most terrain and invulnerability to assaults (not that after a phase of ranged fire something would remain). On maps with natural bottlenecks such as rivers they can be a very mobile asset. Their limited range and limited weaponry means, however, that they are to sustain heavy losses.

Valkyrie Gunship
The first of the series at 535 RP. All have the same stats but defence, which increases with each upgrade. The Valkyrie starts with 7 aircraft with 2 HP, has a movement of 5, 2 sight which is odd for a flyer, initiative of 8 and an accuracy of 60/60 which is beaten by most tanks. The armament consists of a multilaser, which is crap (R1-3;ST20;P0;S3;ACC100/10) and 2 Rocket Pods (R1-3;ST40;P10;S3;ACC100/10) which is good versus infantry but going toe to toe with the mobs the Valkyrie is prone to fall from the skies once returning fire commences.

Vendetta Gunship
For 585 RP, this one has defence boosted by 10 to 35 and the weaponry is changed to 6 lascannons (R1-3;ST90;P30;S3;ACC100/10) which is decent and 2 heavy bolters with 3 shots. This one will hurt opponents of all kinds the most. However, return fire will down many of these as well.

Vulture Gunship
This one costs 645 and has defence 45, the most of the series. It sports 2 nerfed lascannons we already loathe and 2 hellstrike missles (R1-3;ST90;P35;S1;ACC100/10). If it was not for the bad lascannons, this would be an interesting choice. So it has rather limited use.


Finally, lets talk about the titans. Empire of man will get the smaller Warhound Scout Titan and later the Reaver Titan. Both are units with one sprite and huge defence. If not killed in action, they will retain all XP and become deadlier over time.
You can chose between the following variants:

Warhound Scout
Standard variant for 1500 RP. Armed with a Plasma Blastgun and a Megabolter. This one will hurt either way and has plenty of shots.

Warhound with Turbolasers
More costly variant for 1550 RP with an Inferno Gun (R1-2;ST60;P20;S8;ACC100/10;Terror) and a Turbolaser Destructor which is a kind of gattling lasercannon (R1-3;ST80;P40;S4;ACC100/10)

Warhound with Inferno Gun
Combines a plasma blastgun with an Inferno Gun for 1400 RP

[to be continued]

Re: Sharing war experiences (General XP/Unit Analysis/WIP)

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:07 pm
by DocDesastro
Update: completed the tank section and will start on the Artillery section this week.
Update: added improved super heavy tanks and added comments on artilery usage. Artillery piece stats will follow soon.

Re: Sharing war experiences (General XP/Unit Analysis/WIP)

Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:35 pm
by DocDesastro
Update: added Steel Legion Artillery pieces

Re: Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP

Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:26 am
by nexusno2000
The only successful way to play Armageddon:

- have high spotting
- attack ork units from outside their spotting range (easy, except for their spotting 4 units)
- kill off all units that might spot you before ork turn

At higher difficulties, and on maps where the ork is more aggressive, he WILL be able to spot you. Then it is very useful to have some 'soak' units that are just there to take fire - AI loves soft targets. Make sure they are cheap, so you can reinforce them for low cost. This has the added benefit of saving your core hi-xp units from incoming fire.

Re: Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP

Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:13 pm
by deranzo
Hey, DocDesastro, these are good assessments.
I would like you to also evaluate my mod units if you have time.

Re: Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP

Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:01 pm
by DocDesastro
After this one, I might go for it indeed. Thank you :)

Re: Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP

Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:22 pm
by DocDesastro
Update: Added flyers and Scout titans. Will proceed, as soon as I pass that damn mission of holding the industry complexes.

Re: Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:40 am
by Parallax
deranzo wrote:I would like you to also evaluate my mod units if you have time.
Your mod is very unbalanced, even on highest difficulty :oops:

Re: Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:34 am
by deranzo
Thanks @DocDesastro . And feel free to modify health/defense values.
@Parallax Yeah but I have decreased healths in new update. Did you try latest version?

Re: Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:21 am
by Parallax
deranzo wrote:@Parallax Yeah but I have decreased healths in new update. Did you try latest version?
Yes, tried few hours ago. I think you should increase orks hp or give new units hp equal to vanilla units. Orks just can't kill single model :oops:

Re: Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:43 am
by deranzo
Parallax wrote:
deranzo wrote:@Parallax Yeah but I have decreased healths in new update. Did you try latest version?
Yes, tried few hours ago. I think you should increase orks hp or give new units hp equal to vanilla units. Orks just can't kill single model :oops:
I have just reseted all healths and defence. Now its only 1 point increase and 3 point increase for super heavy and titan units. You can find just unittypes.whdat file in mod page.
@DocDesastro, if you have downloaded the mod before, please download latest unittypes.whdat file in my mod page.

Thanks for your effort. This is one of very few good Warhammer 40K games and I appreciate everyone for trying to keep it alive.

Re: Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:08 pm
by DocDesastro
I have not modded the game yet so I might need some help with that. But I will ask, if needed. I would also try to compare the weapons and stats with canon to see whether it emulates the 'feeling' of WH40k. Benchmark should be, how the game on normal works with neither player cheating. A higher difficulty should only compensate for inferior AI behavior and the balance for this should lie elsewhere.

Re: Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:12 pm
by deranzo
DocDesastro wrote:I have not modded the game yet so I might need some help with that. But I will ask, if needed. I would also try to compare the weapons and stats with canon to see whether it emulates the 'feeling' of WH40k. Benchmark should be, how the game on normal works with neither player cheating. A higher difficulty should only compensate for inferior AI behavior and the balance for this should lie elsewhere.
On higher difficulties; enemy hit points increase and player requisiton points decrease.

I tried to modify weapon stats according to base weapons and information in wikis. Some of them may be balanced some may not. Feel free to review and change values.

Re: Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:54 pm
by DocDesastro
I had some ideas transforming 40k mechanisms to down here. Example: Lasgun could come as 2 weapons: first one has range 1-1 and 2 shots while the other has range 2-2 and 1 shot. Add a bayonet with lemme say Strength 15 and 0 piercing and 1 shot at range 0-0 and charge skill and this will change the way infantry is used and depicts rapid fire rules better. Or make it 3 shots at close range and 2 at 'long', which might reward players exposing their infantry do danger more often. Understanding, that a unit would be a complete infantry company and not a squad we can expect officers to direct fire in the unit (game-wise: using the First rank: Fire! Second rank: fire and depicting the guardsman as rather disciplined soldier). Also, giving them bayonets will make the gueardsmen defend themselves. Canon-wise they use the guns as clubs, fix bayonets or fire pistols or other sidearms at close range so guardsmen should not be defenceless versus orks in CC. Also, I ask myself, whether one could have broken numbers for shots like 0.3 or 0.5?!

Also, I feel that 'balance' is the game killer. War always is asymmetrical and each faction has its own strengths and weaknesses. Humans are many and have decent firepower but are rather average in melee. Orks have many unreliable guns, are even more than many and excel in melee. Balance will come from other factors. Frankly, most scenarios are unfair to one side. Either fighting waves from better positions, running the clock or assaulting superior numbers for a breakthrough - never there was a fight in history when both teams were equally in strength and numbers. In fact, strategy advises to attack, if the opponent is weak or when a special goal is called for. I rather would like to see that units are not too equal and comparable - otherwise they lose their 'magic' of factions being unique in their own way.

Last: adding HP for increased difficulty sounds wrong to me. Why not assign XP to ork units if possible? Like on easy, all ork units start at XP-level 0. Normal would get +1XP, Hard +2 and very hard +3 or even +4 making the ork troops better without the need for changing their stats too excessively. Depicting correct mob sizes is good as would be true interpretation of weaponry. The advantage, the A.I. gets, would be an XP boost instead, making the orks a bit more dangerous as accuracy, initiative and defence grow instead of re-inventing and counterbalancing weapons and stats.

Re: Steel Legion unit analysis and gameplay experiences (WIP

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:42 pm
by deranzo
DocDesastro wrote:I had some ideas transforming 40k mechanisms to down here. Example: Lasgun could come as 2 weapons: first one has range 1-1 and 2 shots while the other has range 2-2 and 1 shot. Add a bayonet with lemme say Strength 15 and 0 piercing and 1 shot at range 0-0 and charge skill and this will change the way infantry is used and depicts rapid fire rules better. Or make it 3 shots at close range and 2 at 'long', which might reward players exposing their infantry do danger more often. Understanding, that a unit would be a complete infantry company and not a squad we can expect officers to direct fire in the unit (game-wise: using the First rank: Fire! Second rank: fire and depicting the guardsman as rather disciplined soldier). Also, giving them bayonets will make the gueardsmen defend themselves. Canon-wise they use the guns as clubs, fix bayonets or fire pistols or other sidearms at close range so guardsmen should not be defenceless versus orks in CC. Also, I ask myself, whether one could have broken numbers for shots like 0.3 or 0.5?!

Also, I feel that 'balance' is the game killer. War always is asymmetrical and each faction has its own strengths and weaknesses. Humans are many and have decent firepower but are rather average in melee. Orks have many unreliable guns, are even more than many and excel in melee. Balance will come from other factors. Frankly, most scenarios are unfair to one side. Either fighting waves from better positions, running the clock or assaulting superior numbers for a breakthrough - never there was a fight in history when both teams were equally in strength and numbers. In fact, strategy advises to attack, if the opponent is weak or when a special goal is called for. I rather would like to see that units are not too equal and comparable - otherwise they lose their 'magic' of factions being unique in their own way.

Last: adding HP for increased difficulty sounds wrong to me. Why not assign XP to ork units if possible? Like on easy, all ork units start at XP-level 0. Normal would get +1XP, Hard +2 and very hard +3 or even +4 making the ork troops better without the need for changing their stats too excessively. Depicting correct mob sizes is good as would be true interpretation of weaponry. The advantage, the A.I. gets, would be an XP boost instead, making the orks a bit more dangerous as accuracy, initiative and defence grow instead of re-inventing and counterbalancing weapons and stats.
Lasgun types sounds like plausible. I can add it to my mod. As for original game, new units/weapons/game mechanics changes can't occur due to GW copyright. So, I can only add them to my mod...

Adding XP to enemy units on increased difficulty sits on modifying base game source codes so it may not be done without getting required permission. But I will look into it.

Thanks for reviewing lots of mechanic DocDesastro! Keep them going =)