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Echo Bravo vs Akalis

Discussion in 'PanOceania' started by Death By Monkeys, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. Death By Monkeys

    Death By Monkeys Well-Known Member

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    I started PanO playing Acontecimento and got a lot of utility out of Akali Commandos in ITS X and when Varuna was released made the jump. I've tried using Echo Bravos - and maybe I've just been playing a lot of games with Exclusion Zones, but I've really struggled to get them to pay the bills. I typically find that I'd rather pay the extra points for a Croc Man than use the Echo Bravo. I'm feeling like if I want to play AD with PanO, I'd rather go back to using Acon with Akalis.

    That said, I see posts from a lot of Varuna players saying that they never leave home without them.

    So, how exactly are people using them?
     
    barakiel and yoink101 like this.
  2. MrNailbrain

    MrNailbrain Relentless Optimist

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    EBs are much more fighty than Crocs. Trying to directly compare the two is probably a mistake. Crocs pay the bills with X-Visor TO shenanigans and button pushing. EBs don’t have the luxury of TO and button pushing isn’t their forte (even the Paramedic is fight first, push buttons in emergencies). What EBs do have, though, is a much wider variation of weapons that absolutely punish backline troopers and models with their backs turned to board edges. Red Fury EBs set up punishing gunfights against midfield skirmishers who don’t expect an attack from behind, BSG/LRL destroys overcrowded deployment zones, and the aforementioned Paramedic forces bad decisions on TAGs and HI links. I’m not sold on the hacker but that’s ok, the other three are outstanding value.

    Fortunately, EBs are very cheap for what you get so it’s not out of the question to take both an EB and a Croc.
     
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  3. yoink101

    yoink101 Well-Known Member

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    Echo Bravos are one of the most cost efficient profiles that PanO has. The tools they are dirt cheap because they don’t pay for anything they don’t need. That being said, not being able to drop can be a liability, especially with the exclusion zone. The fact that there is no plain combi or boarding shotgun profile means that they average a little higher in points than they could.

    You’re probably already doing this but, waiting until turn two or sometimes turn three to get on the table, after your opponent has moved up and you’ve cleared out some pieces can help. Likewise, if you can afford it, bringing two can be really punishing. If the paramedic or light rocket launcher comes on first and gets the parrot or a template off, that can creat an opening for the red fury guy to punish anything with rifles. Using a Kamau to advance and create the opening in the first place is an option as well. A solo hmg can do very well in that role.

    That being said, taking a crocman is a really solid option. They bring a few tools that Varuna doesn’t have otherwise. Mines and infiltration are both huge but boons for gunfighters and specialists. While the x visor doesn’t make them as strong as a red fury, marksman rifle, or spitfire, it is a super effective tool. Shooting with three dice on 9s and making your opponent deal with TO, cover, and possibly range puts the crocman in a fantastic position as a premier gunfighter in my experience. Even better that he’s a gunfighter who can grab an objective, protect approaches with mines, and then get into a completely lopsided exchange.
     
    Death, Teslarod, Golem2God and 2 others like this.
  4. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
    Warcor

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    The big thing to remember with any AD unit is that they aren't there to brute force their way past serious opposition. The chance of an EB or Akalis winning a F2F isn't that much higher than an unlinked Fusilier. The advantage is in their positioning and their tools... You're hoping, every encounter, to be flanking the enemy out of cover, hitting multiple enemies with a template, hitting the opponent in their back arc, running a high-risk vs high-reward with a specialty ammo type, or some combination of all of those. You don't want to be tackling defensive link teams, hard targets in suppressive fire, etc

    As for Akalis or EBs, if you're an Acon or VIRD player, it doesn't matter... You don't have a choice, so you use what's in your Sectorial.

    If you're a Sectorial player, you just have to evaluate what's the internal competition within the Sectorial. I find both Acon and VIRD to be massively geared towards defense, so having a quick attack piece is great. For Acon, I'm more likely to have multiple proper infiltrators, as well as Dart for E/M and multiple ammo types. But Acon can run 17+ orders effortlessly, which is a nice format for adding an AD. You can also max AVA on all Acon's midfield stuff (Nagas, Dart, Peacemaker) and still have piles of points for an Akali. The ability to airdrop in is nice... But I never rely on it anyway, so I'm not sure this is a deciding factor. I tend to avoid it with the Akali.

    The EB can deliver more spectacular results, but the impact is so terrifying, my opponents tend to watch out for EBs very diligently. They know the EB is walking on too, so they definitely set up defense for it. VIRD is built entirely around those 1-wound Snake Eaters, so the EB has to complete with some other excellent units that aren't restricted by walking on the table edge. That's pretty rough for the EB.

    Thankfully all the EB loadouts are pretty good at being dangerous even if they enter from bad angles. Often you can walk one in far from the enemy DZ and still find a way for it to help you. I've used mine to shore up a weak flank and repel attacks on my DZ... The EB never gets close to the enemy DZ, but can preserve my orders and stop a dangerous move by taking out 2-3 warbands or a camo infiltrators that's poised to threaten my backline. So using the EB more as a reserve piece, rather than always looking to attack the enemy DZ, is a nice way to be sure he's filling a helpful role even if enemy defense is strong, or if you have exclusion zones in the mission.
     
    #4 barakiel, Jun 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  5. WiT?

    WiT? Well-Known Member

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    Echo Bravo is super scary, I hate that fucking parrot. So as a non PanO player I definitely like it less when that is the one that walks on.

    I feel that AD 3+ is largely a trap. Have failed too many dispersion rolls even with the hacker assist to want it to be plan A. Its there for when shit hits the fan, and you can use it as a coin toss to make a comeback from a losing position.
     
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  6. Cadmo

    Cadmo Active Member

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    In my case after playing with the Echo Bravo, the Akalis seem a bit boring, expensive in points and with weapons a bit simple if you do not want to pay CAP. The Echos seem to me very flexible and with a remarkable armament. I use them in a second or third turn to attack any unprotected area of my opponent or to protect some weak point of my defense (to correct any error). For example once I crushed with the rocket launcher a Makaul and another mini of a triad that had broken my midtable defense and were overwatching several fusiliers from my core. I shot them in the back and they both died, with only one order. Wanderful!. In my opinion the rocket louncher and red fury are the best profile, the specialist profiles are not very good (low WIP), and the wild parrot are very situational and not so dangerous in my opinion. Anyway you can see @barakiel comment about the use of these troops, it's very clear.

    I personally do not always use them, depends on the mission, when there is an exclusion zone, to attack I prefer remote with more movement like the bulleteer or pacemaker in conjunction with the zulu cobras. Finally I see the role of EB very unique, I don’t see that they compete with another profile too directly. That makes them so strong in VIRD. Wait for the second turn at least, when your opponent has moved and has his troops back to the Echo or find/create a weak flank and crush them with medium range weapons.
     
  7. Ayadan

    Ayadan Knight of the TAG Order

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    Akal is good when you need someone to dive in your opponent DZ and don't have the orders or troopers to do it. And for this job, they are rather cheap and still sports BS13, which is unique to PanO and YJ. I have faced once a list with 3 BSG Akalis and it is something rather frightening as you can't get prepared for this.
     
  8. Thandar

    Thandar Dedicated Aconteccan Supremacist

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    I'm not Varuna player, so I cannot properly value Echo Bravos loadout (which seems pretty good for me on paper), but a big advantage Akalis have is their AD4.With AD 2, your points of entry are quite limited - and veteran player is able to cover them to lower the risk. But he can never cover all AD4 points, definitely not with Season 10 boost. Well placed Akali can ruin your opponents plan, and if you put him into Suppresion Fire state, he'll steal some of his orders to get rid of him (and even if these orders was Impetuous and Irregular order of some warband loon, still it¨s 2 order less he could use to run this psycho into your ranks).

    And yes, I know that with PH 11 their landing performance isn't so impressive, but with some supportware it rose to 70% and their are still cheap enough that you can risk it. Sometimes I put even two Akalis into a list - Boarding Shotgun and Spitfire - and still I have around 250 points to fill with something else.
     
    #8 Thandar, Jun 20, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
    xammy likes this.