Discussion in 'Access Guide to the Human Sphere' started by Hecaton, Aug 8, 2021.
That would have been great, but they never sculpted the minis that way.
It's the NWI+shock immune on Andromeda that really sets her above the other two. Their are too many templates around now to make guard offensively and even often defensively viable on Voronin and the Alpha. Both are usually hugely strategically important and can't risk tanking a template that 80% of models have now.
Andromeda doesn't have this issue. She's tanky enough to safely take one chain colt or nanopulser hit, and will more than likely annihilate her target. Because people know they can stop her with a template they often will risk the f2f in vain hope of getting out of sight or stalling her out.
I think this is also magnified by the fact she has 75% odds to deploy right outside your opponents deployment zone. So she doesnt have to waste orders trying to navigate up to where she would be useful.
Yeah. She's a cruise missile, the other two are command and control officers. Her job is to explode while the other two actively try and avoid it. It's a perfectly fine ability on Alpha and Voronin, TBH.
The worst part about Guard is the built in gotcha mechanic to have the Choice between CC, BS FTF or B2 Template after the ARO.
If Guard was an Entire Order Skill with a Move+CC Attack(Guard) that locks you into your choice before the ARO is declared it becomes much less of a problem.
Ofc that would break it for ARO, so you could just not give it an ARO label or allow it to work as a Short Skill without the Move component in ARO.
Why would you ever take Andromeda with a shotgun? The Zapper is much more useful, and the times the double shotgun template is better than her CC is extremely niche.
Unless your opponent blunders hard, Andromeda should be using CC like 95% of the time when the opportunity is there. For the other two guard units this also holds true as long as their target doesn't have a direct template attack.
Regardless of that. Guard is really no more Gotcha than any other BS f2f, vs BS template in the game. An inexperienced opponent might choose CC once in aro and get burned by it. But will never fall for that a second time. If Andromeda peeks you inside her guard range. You shoot or dodge. Ideally with Fire, E/M, or Riotstopper template. All of those could stop her. Dodge isn't great but it still works on all three options. And a shooting f2f is probably your worst option, except in a few extremely niche cases (if she decides to shotgun template you)
None of the is really a hard gotcha at all, just game experience. All three do have a chance to accomplish something
If you want a gotcha. Having any active enemy shotgun reaching within their template range of Vorinin or the Alpha. It's lose lose either way. Dodge and they F2F you point blank with +6 and you're most likely getting hit. Shoot back at all and they double template you and odds say you take at least 1 wound
Don't you dare to be reasonable here...
Disagree. The shotgun fork is effective because it's used by troopers that want to trade. It's power is to force the reactive player to accept the trade by AROing with BS Attack. The fork prevents them from trying to survive instead with Dodge, because the fork gives you a F2F option against their Dodge. It's powerful, but only if the active player wants to trade.
The Guard fork is different because it forces the reactive player to take and lose a F2F roll. They can't react with CC Attack because it will fail when Andromeda chooses BS Attack. So they have to choose a BS Attack, which lets Andromeda use her CC Attack which will massively outperform the BS Attack. The reactive player doesn't get an option to trade. It really only matters when the target is a CC expert - the fork operates to allow Andromeda to use her CC skill while preventing the target from using theirs. Not really comparable to the shotgun fork.
Well, sure, if the target has a DTW, the fork doesn't work.
I'm not telling you how to play Andromeda, I'm saying having Guard making CC useless as a defensive stat is a mechanical problem with Guard.
It doesn't matter how good you play, you're always on the backfoot against an Andromeda in range during her Active turn.
Best you can do is have a linked DTW/Shotgun to trade.
About the only decent option and still exposes your trooper to unopposed D-Charges.
As for what does the Shotgun do the Zapper doesn't?
It kills the things that don't care about getting zapped. Which incedentially are the best response to get rid of Andromeda. Krakots, Galwegians, Taighas... a Zapper isn't gonna finish the job and a SMG shot is worse at dealing damage than a BSG any time Shock isn't helping. When something Berserks you, or can beat you in CC (NBW/Makaul+friend/MA5) the no roll template damage option is better than SMG+Zapper options.
Against targets vulnerable to Zapper you can for the most part stick them with a Guard D-Charge, or alternatively if they are CC competent & sturdy (like a Guija or Oyoroi) can threaten them with Shotgun AP Normal rolls.
As a result my personal preference is the Shotgun. I can see how people prefer the threat of the Zapper, in between Aleph's Hacking presence and Guard D-Charges I'd simply prefer the defensive option to hopefully keep Andromeda alive by eliminating cheap CC (non NWI/Dogged) threats and surviving myself thanks to NWI.
Controlled Jump is Entire Order/ARO, so we already have precedent for this. Simply do the same for Guard and you just fixed complete BS mechanic.
Sounds like both are still ultimately forcing the reactive player to take a trade they don't want.
Guard just has the advantage of dunking on people without template weapons. Which honestly isn't many pieces these days. Mostly because of shotguns.
I named E/M, Fire, and Riotstopper specifically because they all can possibly stop Andromeda with one aro. All the rest work fine on the other Guard users, and largely make them incapable of offensively using Guard.
Ultimately I think the problem is Andromeda is the most optimized a Guard unit can be.
If you took away NWI, or Infiltrate+6 she wouldn't be near as oppressive. Even losing Shock Immune would make her much less safe. Forward Deployment 8" would also make her a bit less insane.
I do think there is room for a infiltrating Guard unit and a 2 wound brawler guard unit. Just not both together.
...Um, no, as I said, it's the exact opposite of that. The shotgun fork forces the reactive player to take a trade they don't want. The guard fork forces them to take an unfavourable f2f, which is the opposite of a trade.
Against a reactive DTW, neither fork has any effect. We're talking about reactive targets that don't have DTWs.
Yes, which is why, IMO, guard shouldn't exist on Voronin or the Alpha either.
It's not "being reasonable," it's apologetics for a bad mechanic.
Shotguns are not as good of a FtF roll as Andromeda's CC, and aren't explosive like her CC.
A reactive DTW doesn't change much for the shotgun, they still trade hits with each other.
My issue is that DTW are so common now that just about anything you're going to encounter with a Guard unit is probably going to just get blasted by one. My assumption is that the average encounter will have to take that into consideration. So as far as I'm concerned most of the time you use guard you are still usually forcing a trade.
I agree that Guard units will wreck up anything that doesn't have a DTW in very unfavorable f2f rolls, it's just extremely hard for them to find that match up anymore.
I'm really hoping DTW's will be toned down, because I think they are a much bigger problem than guard is.
Having played several games against a vanilla Aleph player who runs Andromeda frequently, I've reflected on several aspects that make Andromeda's guard stand out:
Guard, on a whole, does what it should do in ARO - it acts as a deterrent to closing the range against them.
Andromeda, unlike Voronin and and the Alpha unit, turns Guard into a Turn 1 guided missile. While Voronin and the Alpha both start in their own DZ, and therefore are much less likely to make it to midfield, let alone the enemy DZ to wreck havoc, especially because they are also probably your LT or back-up LT.
Also unlike Voronin and the Alpha, Andromeda has 2 wounds thanks to NWI and shock immunity, so you can't block her with a mine or hope for a lucky template trade.
Andromeda also carries D-charges, rather than Voronin's AP CCW and the Alpha's DA CCW. This means that when she hits, she it probably going to paste her target, even if it is a heavy unit.
In the active turn, the fork decision for a shotgun is between F2F and normal rolls (dodge to get F2F, shoot to get a normal roll but take a hit). Dodging against a shotgun will either be at PH or PH-3 depending on whether you have line of fire to the attacker.
For Guard in the active turn, the fork is between a F2F roll and idle (Dodge or BS to get F2F, CC attack will be converted to idle when the Guard unit shoots you). This is already a big difference because it neuters CC units that might actually be able to go toe to toe with her, but its made worse by the way that martial arts stacks against dodge and BS attack. Guard also does apply Cover mods.
Andromeda in cover against a non-MSV target, will impose a -9 MOD to BS attack (mimetism, cover, MA3) before range bands are applied. Even Dodge is going to be at -3 MOD by default and -6 MOD if you don't have LoF.
Andromeda will be at CC 24 thanks to her MA3, so any ARO that rolls less than 5 is going to lose automatically, while Andromeda can crit on 16+ (25% crit chance). If we put Andromeda up against a high value HI - I play Haqq so I'll use the Al Fasid - the Al Fasid can either dodge on 11 (assuming he has LoF) or shoot with heavy pistol on 7. Running the dice calc on the BS attack, the Al Fasid has a measly 2.73% chance of inflicting 1 or more wounds, an 8.14% chance of nothing happening, and a whopping 89.13% chance of taking at least 1 wound (and within that, a 65% chance of taking 2 or more wounds to go unconscious). Dodging only increases the odds of winning the roll to 7.5%, while still having an 84.92% chance of taking at least 1 wound.
Even in the situation where you miraculously survive that 1st attack (or even succeed in dodging out of LoF), Andromeda can rinse and repeat 2 more times with her D-charges.
For comparison, if Al-Djabel were to attack the Al Fasid (who ignores the surprise attack mod thanks to sixth sense), the Al Fasid would have a 4.75% chance to dodge, a 21.72% chance of nothing happening, and a 73.53% chance of taking 1 or more wounds (but only a 31.44% chance of taking 2 or more wounds). If the Al Fasid responds with CC, his odds of winning increase a bit to 6.26% and chance of taking at least 1 wound declines to 70.16% (30.31% chance to take 2 or more).
Andromeda has double the likelihood of killing the Al Fasid in a single order and half as likely to take a wound if the Al Fasid fights back when compared to Al-Djabel. If the Al-Fasid gets lucky in both situations, he will successfully kill Al-Djabel (thanks to shock on the heavy pistol), but Andromeda will get another try.
Andromeda is clearly the outlier of all the three Guard units in the game. One could either tone down guard (make it a whole order/ARO as was proposed earlier in this thread or allow models to delay their ARO as if the Guard unit was a marker) or Andromeda as a unit could be reworked to eliminate the combination of skills and equipment that makes her so destructive. Even if you just eliminated her Infiltration(+6) skill, limiting her to forward deployment, she would then have to march upfield and take AROs and mines along the way.
@Muad'dib it kind of begs the question of why we needed Guard as opposed to shotguns or other direct template weapons to deter close up attacks.
Given the way that CC attacks over 20 work, particularly in combo with martial arts, I feel that guard is more powerful than using a direct template - its not as easily dodged, you get +X from having a target number over 20 which both increases your crit chance and reduces the risk of losing a face to face due to a bad roll, and you generally have better damage types (AP/DA/D-charges) than would be available with a direct template weapon. Using guard, you are no worse off against a enemy that hits you with a template weapon (you will autohit with your CC attack), while you gain a significant advantage if the opponent targets you with a face to face weapon. I think guard only becomes more dangerous if you are trying to use it against another CC specialist, and even then, its usually a toss up as to who will win.
Yes, and I don't think that the power level you describe on Guard is appropriate. It causes all sorts of other problems.
I think its mostly just the active turn and Andromeda in particular. As a reactive skill on a LT model sitting in your own deployment zone, I feel that it is reasonably balanced. With a few changes to the Guard skill and Andromeda's profile, it would be a nonissue.
Keep Guard as is, but Andromeda loses NWI, would be my solution. She remains one of the most potent threats in the game, but turns glassy and can be counterplayed by templates and deployables and layered defence. The problem isn't with guard (powerful as it is), it's with the absurd profile it's been stacked on top of. If she has to stay in her current form, a straght +10pt would at least make not-taking her an option.
Even as an O12 player, I dislike this unit for the skew it inflicts on games.