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Panoceania: a problematic faction.

Discussion in 'PanOceania' started by The Holy Knight, Apr 10, 2023.

  1. psychoticstorm

    psychoticstorm Aleph's rogue child
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    This is highly interesting, I have not fielded any knights in my winterforce lists, actually have not fielded any Heavy Infantry at all, I could even do the Bulleteer+ HI hacker Duo.
     
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  2. Brokenwolf

    Brokenwolf Well-Known Member

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    Blade being added to Vanilla gives even more TAG + Engineer Duos.
     
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  3. Urobros

    Urobros Well-Known Member

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    I really do :) I guess you should try fusiler paramedic+gunnar+HMG orc, is a really good haris.
     
  4. psychoticstorm

    psychoticstorm Aleph's rogue child
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    I will try it, still trying and failing to make Gunnar work...
     
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  5. A Mão Esquerda

    A Mão Esquerda Deputy Hexahedron Officer

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    I’ve also enjoyed Gunnar + Karhu specialist + Karhu FB.
     
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  6. Urobros

    Urobros Well-Known Member

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    Maybe now isn't the BEST moment due ITS rule allowing to use command token as regular orden :( however still working for "second auxiliar group".
     
  7. Valiant Storm

    Valiant Storm Well-Known Member

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    Gunnar just feels like a Warband unit written with no context for what a warband actually does. He's got Beserk and Dogged, which are great skills on units at a third his cost, but being 34 points limits the frontier of what you can reasonably want to trade him into - but he only has a Shock CC weapon, so you have a better than 50% chance of only focing one save onto a HI target. If you charge something like a Knight or a real CC unit or even a lot of TAGs, you risk taking a DA hit on Beserk crack-back and loosing your dogged wound before you can swing again.

    So he's providing CC support to a pure Karhu fireteam, I guess, or maybe some kind of mobile pure Fusiler link? I guess?

    My experience with WinterFor has run more in favor of the Karhu + Fusiler Paramedic + filler/wildcard teams. But then, I'm really not a fan of mobile core teams in general.

    He also suffers from Shona existing in the same sectorial, with the same mobility capability (mostly), way better melee damage, and full NWI meaning she isn't as pigeonholed into being a trade peice. No Beserk means she can't guarantee a trade into a serious melee threat (that either one can reach) as effectively... but how often does that really come up?

    Plus Liang Kai. Who is even cheaper and also has stronger kung fu. If only he hadn't forgotten his smoke grenades at the monastery.

    Depending on Beserk to hit 21-23+6 CC skill also makes him disfavored as reactive turn melee security. My local meta is infested with Speculos, so I probably value that more than the average bear.

    TacAware is nice though. It's the only reason I can't write him off entirely, but in IA it's usually something that you take on a profile that's already good, like Shang Jisus or the Terracotta Tinbot.

    Which also reminds me of how weird it is that PanO doesn't get -6 tinbots, but Nomads do. Conventional game desgin would suggest that you don't give one army all of the tools to interact with a particular system, and also the cheap defensive tools to make it non-interactive.

    Like they did with PanO and smoke.
     
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  8. tacos

    tacos Well-Known Member

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    I don't disagree that Gunnar has some issues that very much limit what he can do, but he does have a Trench-Hammer which you can basically treat as a disposable (3) DA CCW
     
  9. psychoticstorm

    psychoticstorm Aleph's rogue child
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    I have used him as a CC protection for Kahru Haris, I was not really impressed, not sure were his tactical awareness would be beneficial.

    As I said still trying to figure him out.
     
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  10. archon

    archon Well-Known Member

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    One of the main reasons for Gunnar is his TA. Expensive for only the extra order, but it comes with a good CC, good shoot, specialist and dogged - which is not good as NWI, but hey sometimes it gives you a second chance to swing, shoot or ARO. His TA and SO also separates him from Shona, who is a CC monster (if she hits even TAGs could fall from one strike) that has hard times to reach its target.

    Now - with the availability of the Blade ops Gunnars usefulness is fading. Being 10 pts less than Gunnar you will not shed a tear for the missing CC abilitys (maybe dogged) and the lightly worse shooting capabilitys (range, DA). Given the Blade is available for Beta teams you also not need "Wildcard" that much. I guess the BSG version of the Blade will have a pickrate from under 1 % ;-) at least in SWF.

    Reasons to take Gunnar with the Blade Op existing:

    you want a 2nd TA in a fireteam
    you need more antimaterial CC
    you like him that much
    you dislike to proxy
    and/or
    you don´t want to buy the RF box (thats me) because the only model you want is the SMG Blade
    you still think, that the whole toolbox Gunnar is better than a squishy Blade
    you can not use the saved 10 pts, maybe you list are already at 15
    ... fill in your own here ... ;-)
     
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  11. Brokenwolf

    Brokenwolf Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, the Blade Op is such a nice addition for Vanilla. It slots so well into a Bulleteer duo and frees up a Karhu and five points.
     
  12. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

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    Conventional game design can't account for Nomad fanboyism among the design team.

    It also doesn't make sense given that the most technologically advanced first-world militaries do a *lot* of electronic warfare, not a little.

    It would be much more interesting if each faction approached hacking in its own way, instead of just making one faction so good at it that others don't want to even spend points on the system because it's a liability.
     
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  13. psychoticstorm

    psychoticstorm Aleph's rogue child
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    Since most factions approach hacking in their own way, I do not see why you complain about not doing it, but as a thought exercise do lay me out how different would you want PanO to do their hacking?
     
  14. Valiant Storm

    Valiant Storm Well-Known Member

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    Well, you could debate if PanO approaches hacking at all, since the core principles seem to be:
    • No good hackers
    • Mid-level hackers are on really expensive bodies
    • Weak network projection
    There are a few ways you could approch it. If you wanted the bare-minium change, you would want to make Tinbot (-6), ECM (Hacker), and Hacker (Upgrade: Zero Pain) much more common in PanO profiles, along with some kind of spambot equipment to function as digital smoke. This allows you to keep the core dynamic of gently pushing PanO players not to interact with hacking to preserve the Nomad's walled garden, while still providing the tools to play the game you are "intended" to.

    A close alternative - which the above solution might need to be paired with - is adding Bears to PanO. Specifically, some kind of non-hackable unit that has either superior deployment or high mobility that's very good at punishing null deployment.

    Every class panO option to punish null deploys tends to fall apart when it gets paired with hacking. Auxilia are slow, and auxbots are hackable. Teutons have the right skillset to tangle with degenerate templatemongers, but are hackable (Tinbot -3 isn't going to save). Peacemakers are fast, forward deploy, and can trade at least once with their auxbot, but the new price point hurts, and they are hackable.

    The trend is that anything with the ability to move forward and go around a corner either gets shut down by hacking, or it's something like a Trinitarian that just dies to templates if it tries pushing anything. This is almost always a problem, because most armies have very little reason not to include a bunch of cheap templates.

    The alternative fix within the existing rules is just to do the same thing as CB did with Nomad shooting. Put Dartoks and upgrade programs in PanO, so they hack just as well as Nomads but with 1 less point of WIP.

    I think any approach at a more comprehensive fix requires changes to the core rules.

    Generally, I think the Firewall rules should be flipped. Hackers get rewarded too much for taking no risk and using non-interactive tools (Pitchers). Either the Firewall bonus should protect aginst hacking attempts directly targeting a model, or it should be renamed to "network exploit" and give a bonus to hacking attempts directed through a repeater.

    Under this system, it becomes a trade-off if you want to blob repeater coverage everywhere and assume a domineering posture vs. Non hacking models, or you can take a conservative posture and minimize your own vulnerability.

    This does become an issue for armies that have to make a serious investment in getting repeater network instead of just having Bit & Kiss spray pichers everywhere, but that's a slightly seperate problem.

    The current rules don't allow Killer Hackers to do much in the way of providing protection for friendly hackers . I'd like to see a repeater trigger an ARO when another model hacks through it. I'm not sure if there's some massive problem this causes, and it still basically means the killer hacker just needs to be targeted first, but at least with an Engineer you can un-Isolate the KH every turn to stand him back up.

    You could also add another Killer Hacking-type program that works better in ARO, maybe being better at winning FTF but having lower damage (something fixed so it doesn't get blanked by an Interventor with a firewall), then not give it to Nomads or Combined Army so it functions as defensive counterplay rather than reinforcing their dominance.

    The game also needs anti-hacking terrain zones. 8.1" thick buildings are impractically large to be a reliable solution, and don't do anything about pitchers being bombed onto the roof, or cammo models carrying deployables up there.

    Sparing use of "Zero Transmission Zones" that block the propagation of hacking area would make it eaiser to create terrain setups that block T1 repeater bombs for GML or Total Control, and make it harder to totally lock down the midfield with like 3 repeaters deployed somewhere hard to draw LOF on.

    This would also mean you could add in new Equipment that created these no hacking zones as a form of couterplay, with availability to each army being inversely proportional to access to Pitchers. (Excepting Tooha and Ariadnia).

    Those are a few things off the top of my head. Hacking area might be too big, and I'm not sold on why Spotlight ARO should be a thing at all, at least when GML exists.
     
  15. Bignoob

    Bignoob Well-Known Member

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    I see we’re back on our favorite post

    I personally dont think PanO should be better in hacking than what they currently are. I think it’s fine having, like Ariadna, a faction that is suboptimal hacking wise, while leveraging from other functionalities to counteract on this weakness.

    But then again, we’re running in circles… Team A will say

    « BS+1 doesn’t justify not having access to:
    - warbands
    - Eclipse grenades (see I’m not typing launcher)
    - Smoke grenades
    - HD+
    - Strategos
    - and comparing with Ariadna doesn’t make sense makes the Bear, because the Volkolak, because Mc Murder, because unhackable HI etc »

    And team B that says the opposite.

    I personally don’t care anymore. I simply stopped playing PanO because CB made them the most boring faction to play with. Not weakest, not not competitive, not this or that. But CB took direct actions and decisions to make them boring to play with.

    I have so much, but sooooooo much, more fun playing O12 (specially Starmada) and SEF, that I won’t take them out until N5 comes in.

    Then to be seen to which extent N5 plays for PanO. But seeing all the (direct and indirect) antifun impact that N4 has on PanO, I will not hold my breadth that N5 will make them more fun to play.
     
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  16. Sungwon

    Sungwon Well-Known Member

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    I'll add immunities to there. No immunity(shock) on our characters feels pretty sad even though they more blow up by taking 2 wounds.
    I'm still enjoying PanO, nowadays with WinterFor. I might haven't played enough games to feel PanO boring, but I'll try other PanO sectorials and try odd and weird lists when I feel it boring.
     
  17. Valiant Storm

    Valiant Storm Well-Known Member

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    Which makes sense, before O-12 is just a PanO sectorial written without any of the downsides of being PanO. You get the extra pip of Ballistic skill on anything that matters (BS 15 TAGs, BS 14 HI, 13 MI, 12 on line troops), but also get disgusting crap like a 21 point Hacking Device plus with a pitcher.

    Every hacker profile with a pitcher and a hacker should be deleted, by the way.

    It's fairly obvious that O-12 soaked up whatever intrest the design team had in making an intresting high-tech non-nomads human faction.

    Well yes, the Combined Army desgin philosophy of making them the best at everything is obviously going to make them fun to play, but it's dubious how healthy that actually is for the game.

    Don't forget pitchers, upgrade programs, and one point of WIP.

    I disagree with the other poster that the problem is it being boring. In my experience, it's fine to play outside of particular matchups that you don't really have the tools to deal with; as I outlined, hackable close assault pieces are not sufficient to rely on.
     
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  18. Domino25

    Domino25 Well-Known Member

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    I've said it before: I think they should add extra SWC to Pano LTs. It is thematic to the hyperpower's material focus, is unique and fits nicely with our design space. I think some of the frustration of Pano players is that we feel we give up a great deal for an advantage that does not feel equivalent to the limitations. Having extra swc would still be balanced by points, but opens more of our rems and lower quality troops to swc investments.

    Extra SWC also reduces the opportunity cost of hacking to us. Without smoke or infiltrating problem solvers, we need our SWC big guns, backup guns and aro guns leaving little room for the .5 devices. Extra SWC opens a design space for a Pano hacking game that centers around lower quality hackers that are more defensive and supportive in nature. Having the SWC to causally bring an EVO and two line infantry hackers is not going to catapult us to the top of the hacker rankings, but does allow us to use our rem repeaters and have a speedbump when our pricy hackables are under a pitcher.

    I would add that Pano's hacking shouldn't focus on upgrades like +1B AP Trinity to murder the enemy hackers while dropping white noise. Upgrades along the lines of EVO programs, Tin-bots, ECM, Zero Pain, Cybermask and BTS all increase the resilience and utility without becoming guided threats or hacking murder machines.
     
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  19. archon

    archon Well-Known Member

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    While Pan O has some of them (ECM-3 Hacker) on some TAGs it is again - in my opinon - in contrary to the fluff. As the leading power they equip their Orc HI with only -3 tinbots, while the second power has -6 on linetrooper HIs ;-) also no HD+ (the second don´t have it too...) not even for a price.

    Okay that is something gamewise and not fluffwise (some argue, that Pan O is eqonomic with mass produced cheap stuff here... maybe even sustainable).

    They have Drop-Bears, does that count? :sweat_smile:

    nonono - one just arrived at Svarlaheima for White Banner :innocent:

    €dith: A word on spotlight (which leads to GML etc. and is mostly gained through a repeater network build - among others - with pitchers). It is the only prg that not allow or require a saving throw. While this could be fine, it also last until you reset it away. This could be easily fixed by the same threatment "stunned" has. Let it vanish in the states-phase. Finish.
     
    #379 archon, Feb 12, 2024
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2024
  20. Bignoob

    Bignoob Well-Known Member

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    That’s partially false. Tag is BS14. Linkable HI is BS13, non linkable HI is 14 that is true, but then I could say PanO HI have BS15... Some MI do have BS13 but not all of them. LI is 12, that’s correct but they are more expensive than the fusiliers.


    lol Wtf…

    They have no pitchers, their hackers are serviceable at best (they are just barely better than the awful PanO ones), they only have 1 model with smokes, and anyway you don’t smoke spam with it (if at all unless in ARO), they have no eclipse grenades. SEF is by far the least performing Sectorial of CA in terms of W/L ratio.

    Would you have said Vanilla CA or MAF I would have agreed, but not SEF

    I agree there, but I stopped saying pitcher because then people mention « b-b-b-but SAA has Scylla that does have one »

    You say hackers with pitchers shouldn’t exist. I’ll be way more extreme than you: would tomorrow CB decide to just ban pitchers, I believe the game would be funnier. Pitcher is too much of a 0 risk, high reward weapon.

    But the absolute worst are linked pitchers… Allé ! Send 2 pitchers across the table with one order, and hop! Spotlight, Trinity, Oblivion all you want… The guy in front can barely do anything against it.

    Each their own. I find PanO boring when other factions have much more flexible tools, lists, and at least non single dimensional units.
     
    #380 Bignoob, Feb 12, 2024
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2024
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