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PanOceania: State of the Faction, and what's next?

Discussion in 'PanOceania' started by barakiel, May 30, 2019.

  1. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    Great post overall, but I wanted to reply to this point specifically.

    VIRD definitely changes the meta in a big way. 6-7 months ago, Nimbus was not valued as a tool. Now, it helps players take down the Kamau MSV2. Players are more conscious of tools like Veteran, for beating Jammer.

    The lack of a centerpiece Heavy Infantry is really interesting with Varuna. Not many players discuss this, but Varuna requires a lot of finesse in order to get the most out of all those 1-Wound Snake Eaters. CB did a really nice job putting the focus on 1-Wound elite operators. Even ORCs don't feel like unstoppable super soldiers... They feel like a Special Forces guy who traded his ninja-suit for a set of power armor, because the mission requires it.

    I'll be curious to hear your thoughts if you start Varuna. In the meantime, I like seeing players who are smarter with MO than I am. I always enjoy tournament prep discussions with other players... @daboarder is a master at this. Don't be surprised if I hit you guys up for a Satellite I have in June.
     
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  2. Quehacesfede

    Quehacesfede Professional Catastrophiser

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    Great idea on this thread.

    As a hardcore MO player, I'll really like the old MO sculpts redone. Most of them haven't aged very well. OS started seeing more and more table time since the rules changes, and we still have to proxy the MSR Spec or the TOFOOS (I have a customized Nisse sniper for the first and a Locust for the second). OK I know there is a new OS with combi rifle, but I usually have another OS with combi rifle elsewhere in the table. There are also old sculpts for these profiles, but they look like they're different minis from a different game.
    The machinist is plainly awful. I plan to modify a fusilier to make it look like an engineer, but I rather have a new mini for that profile.
    The Montesa rules change wasn't particularly well received (not my case, I think each order should be different from each other). Nevertheless it's a miniature that I'll buy in a second and do my best to make it work in a list. I'll even make lists around it if it's necessary. Most of the times, at least in my case, the inspiration to build lists comes from a miniature you just want to see kicking ass on the table. The Montesa has all the potential to be this miniature.

    Well, I like the Nisses and I surely like Hospitallers. I think CB will have a hard time trying to make the sectorial unique without overlapping with an existing one.

    I think MO is in a difficult spot right now. It isn't a bad or underpowered sectorial but it is definitely hard to play with. It has been said a million times, skills are more optimal than stats from the cost point of view, and MO is suffering more than ever being a hi stat, low skills faction. Even more as more skills are becoming available to more profiles in different factions.
    With this being said, I'll say that my enthusiasm is still there. I counter the MO burn-out syndrome playing Kill Team or other games, in the hopes I come back to MO with a fresh perspective and new ideas.

    Overall yes. But each sectorial competitiveness varies. MO is the underdog. What is good and bad about MO has been said a million times.
    NCA is my secondary faction and, despite the rules changes weren't as dramatic as in MO, I think the sectorial has aged really well. Even with profiles that look dated like Hexas, it somehow works on the table. All hail the almighty Fusilier Lieutenant.
    I don't play Acon, nor anyone in my meta does.
    Varuna looks good on paper and on practice they were a nightmare when I played against them. I like how they turned out, It's a sectorial with lots of personality and with plenty of interesting options. They are the most competitive sectorial for sure.
    I play MO because when I started I picked the faction with the more appealing miniatures. Besides, the whole space knight concept has this coolness in it it's almost impossible not to feel drawn by it.
     
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  3. Maksimas

    Maksimas Maxi

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    Not exactly someone you'd call a PanO player ( I've only really played a few matches in proxy so far, but PanO and their sectorials are part of the three factions that simply click into place in my brain without having to put much effort into pondering their army lists and whatnot. ( The other two factions being Nomads and Yu Jing. ) ), but I'll be damned if I don't jump in for some banter.

    Svalarheima, really. ( Why does everyone keep calling it Schval, BTW...? )
    For two reasons, actually:
    Nisses and Jotums.
    IMO the Jotum is hands down the best looking PanO TAG ATM ( With the Seraph being a very close second. ) simply because of how BEEFY it looks. Really shows off that solid ARM10.
    And Nisses are a really cool unit in general. I like their looks. And their stats. Kamau be damned ( But not really they are great too. ), but I'd still generally prefer a Nisse for that MSV2 goodness, since with how bad my save rolls are, every little bit of ARM counts and they get to have MSV2 on the other profiles beyond, the admitably still very solid on both of these units, MULTI-Sniper profiles.

    Whilst I could go on my usual tirade of ''Well you guys got great HI, and that is already a A+ in my books.''
    ...Echo-Bravos and Zulu-Cobras look amazing man.
    All the Echo-Bravo profiles are amazing ( Pretty sure you guys have the cheapest Burst 4 AD gun in the game. And get easily deployable, albeit Disposable 1, E/Maulers essentially. And E/Maulers are goddamn spooky. ).
    And Zulu-Cobras are, whilst not amazing toolboxes on individual profiles, are amazing toolboxes as a unit in general: need to shoot something dead? Shock Marksman. Need to shoot someone deader? Spitfire. Need a specialist? Not only is it a very rare and amazing WIP13 specialist in PanO, they are still pretty great gunfighters because of those sweet Breakers! Need an easily defendable and cheap Lieutenant that can make feasibly and reliable use of their Lieutenant order, not having to resort to paying the exhorbitant opportunity cost involved in taking cheerleader Lieutenants? VIRD even gets this without paying the SWC cost.

    More Echo-Bravos and MO re-sculpts, honestly.
    New REM box might be nice?

    Barring the reasons I mentioned earlier, there is that rumor that Svalarheima will release alongside White Banner.
    So that's like... the same as VIRD and IA was. More cool stuff for factions I like. Yay.

    Otherwise I am always curious to see if they pull up some new HI with Sval.

    I'll be honest here, my overall interest in other factions outside the trio of ''These factions have a simplicity that appeals to me greatly'' Yu Jing, Nomads and PanOceania, I'll have to note that my liking for these factions has only become reinforced whilst my interest in other factions has actually shrunk. Now outside of these three and their sectorials, only two sectorials ( Ikari Company and MAF. ) actually draw any substantial interest from me ( Well, technically three, but that's because if you go for Ikari, Druze basically collects itself... ). There are some slightly neutral ''I dunno if I like or not like you'' outliers still, but I'd say most of the remainder are in a position of me not really being interested in them.

    Yes.

    Why would you pick PanO over other factions?*

    This is perhaps a very mundane and basic reason, but... the large saturation of <Insert role here> units that can still fall back on doming heads with guns if need be.

    I just really appreciate the ability to ''brute force troubleshoot'' your problems. It might not be subtle, might not be graceful, but ultimately, sometimes the easy and blunt solution of murdering the problem is perfectly sufficient.
     
  4. andre61

    andre61 Well-Known Member

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    I play MO but I'm not a strong MO player, So! I can't say much there, But I'll keep playing them and hope some day, I will get them right, As for Varuna I need to put my figures together paint them and start playing them soon, So! I can't say anything there, but I to do look forward to seeing new Varuna stuff, Then there is NCA, I like what CB has done with NCA. I need to start playing them again with the new rules and stuff. As for Svalarheima, I look forward to seeing what CB will do with them. I know if we do get Svalarheima we will lose something, maybe this time it would be NCA or MO who knows? Yes! Pano is in a good place, I have been looking at JSA and I do have all there is in that faction, but I do need to put them together and paint them, but that might be a 2020 thing, I still have a lot of Pano stuff to do.
     
  5. Ayadan

    Ayadan Knight of the TAG Order

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    @barakiel I can just second you about tools which were overseen until now. I had felt this when TAK, OSS and TJC came. Suddenly, Bolts (while some loadouts were paying too much for what they brought compared to newer units) as a unit became the answer to the threats they were waiting for. The increase of RF and SMMR is another good point for them. In the same time, it is a bit sad to see that FK FO had their Nimbus confiscated but maybe it was considered as a powerful combo when paired with Santiago Nanopulser and too easy to set up. Albedo is another tool which is gaining in power and should be kept in mind.

    I'll definitely give you my feedback about VIRD once I feel that I want to be good with them. I think too that it will require definitely a lot of tactical sense as they are very fragile and don't have much in survivability outside of BS MODs and Stealth. Could remind me my Eldars from the old times where I was playing 40k. The fact that I'll might be forced to play more than one group will be something for mee too.

    Feel free to hit me whenever you need. I'm always happy to discuss.
     
  6. Skoll

    Skoll Well-Known Member
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    I'll echo the existing sentiments of mo already laid out. It is currently the worst of the pano sectorials, which doesnt make it absolute trash tier or anything but it definitely requires the most investment and effort to get wins with.

    Still want them to release new sculpts for teutons, because im a sucker for nice sci fi knight models, but i'll be damned if i field them with that awful profile. Hell if the teuton models are nice enough I might have them take the spot of my old magisters (which i consider much nicer than the new sculpts). An update sepulcher knight with a similarly dynamic pose to the old one would be fantastic.

    I'll still take MO to tournaments which are slowly becoming the only times i get to play, but I'll consider it completely beer and pretzels at that point.
     
  7. daboarder

    daboarder Force One Commander
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    I dont, shrug
     
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  8. Pinky

    Pinky Active Member

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    I'm happy with Acon. But I'd like to see reworks of the dead units or sub par ones. Drakios, Scylla, Teucer, Sikh and Rao are something I never even consider taking. And 5 choices that could be there are limiting. I'd definitely also love to see a comeback for the Bagh Mari link with giving them quality filler profiles and price drop on the LSG+Combi profiles. More Aro, Minelayers, maybe even a doctor and Shock Marksman profiles. The Montesa also does nothing for me right now. The rest is strong, but my list variety isn't that great and comes down to Dart+Guarda or Tik with the rest being mostly the same. It's very strong and fun to play, with distinct weakness and strengths.
    MO on the other hand feels more flexible in list building, but the flexibility doesn't translate into playability and there's so many counters to HI links that I don't really play them much. The most important fix right now for them is a price drop for OS or giving them all Veteran 1. Maybe more ava for the Fugazi. This goes alongside the standard complaints about Teutons.
    Vanilla is finally interesting, with Joan and 4 irregular choices, which open up excellent tag lists. Will definitely be playing Vanilla more from now on.
     
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  9. Maksimas

    Maksimas Maxi

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    Sadly I doubt these would get any attention from an Acon re-work, only perhaps from a Steel Phalanx one at best.

    These could stand to be tossed a bone or two though.

    As much as I cannot deny my overall attraction towards MO and HI in general...
    Yeah, I can't deny the shopping list of counters this stuff has.
     
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  10. Ayadan

    Ayadan Knight of the TAG Order

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    I don't think you should expect any point drop on Combi+LSG profiles as they already pay only 2 points for this combined LSG.
    And I think the subject of Drakios and Scylla is just a matter of players. Nowadays, I think Drakios has gain in interest just because of all those MSV ARO pieces we cross on the tables. Taagma, Brawler, Frontovik, Govad, Hortlak, Riot Grrls, Kamau, Bagh-Mari (you're not safe from a mirror game in big events), Grenzers, Hai Dao and incoming Nisse from SWF are all common dominating ARO pieces that Drakios can pass through without fear. His bots give him a pseudo minesweeping ability and Stealth + NWI make him able go through a WB before killing the cheerleaders. He is pricey but ASA has access to a lot of cheap and excellent cheerleaders to give him the orders to shine. And Scylla is just an murderer when played correctly (though this can request some experience as it is easy to screw it up). Teucer is more questionable and I never found out how to make him work.
     
  11. barakiel

    barakiel Echo Bravo Master Sergeant
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    Bagh Mari already have one of the best filler profiles available to Medium Infantry. The boarding shotgun + n2 profile is excellent, both in terms of capability and good price point. But it's hard to beat 10 point link filler...
     
  12. Pinky

    Pinky Active Member

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    I agree, but the problem is you need 3 filler profiles. It's a good one, but you need 2 more and these are simply redundant. There's the machinist, but that's a specialist profile and you may not need or want one extra. It's just a matter of design, Druze have tons of useful secondary profiles to choose from and I'd like to see 1-2 profiles similar to those in the game. But, I'd also like to see an end of mixed link nightmare and power creep.
     
  13. Guardian

    Guardian Well-Known Member
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    I've been an avid NCA player, but moved to StarCo this season and enjoyed it immensely!
    The amount of new and flexible tools, camo infiltrators, irregular toolbox units and mixed links really gave me a new perspective and a much needed refresh.
    Even though VIRD looks cool and powerful, I'm not picking that one up due to several factors, mostly it's something my gaming group would struggle with power level wise, the missing helots which are almost the cornerstone troops and the way CB is pushing the "buy new, powerful and shiny sectorial narrative" which doesn't sit well with me.

    I'm considering Druze or MO for a bit of a challenge...

    Also planning to revisit NCA with the recent upgrades! Yay Bolts! Finally... :)
     
  14. Stiopa

    Stiopa Trust The Fuckhead
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    Well, my main comment about PanO state would be that while I'm contemplating selling at least some of my armies - I need to contain the collection at least a bit, and make space for any future purchases - I still can't bring myself to selling either SAA or MO off. I'm not playing them as much as I'd like - one of the reasons I'm thinking about letting them go - but I'm having lots of fun with both armies. Acon was always interesting, while MO really got a lot from the last update.
     
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  15. MrNailbrain

    MrNailbrain Relentless Optimist

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    I’ve been holding off on answering this for a while as I didn’t really have a concise way of saying what I’ve been feeling. But I played some games today with Varuna after dabbling in nu-NCA for a couple games and I think I’ve distilled it down.

    Varuna is really good. Like, it’s changing the game good. People are starting to worry about PanO and that’s almost never happened before. It’s a game-meta-defining change.

    NCA, Shock Army and MO are all perfectly playable. Good, even, in some cases. NCA had a lot of life breathed into it, Shock Army doubled down on versatility, and MO got a major shakeup that took a stale, one-dimensional link out of the picture.

    What do I want out of the faction? Especially in Svalarheim?

    I want the faction to be defined less by single profiles. Varuna has 3 profiles that you have to be stupid not to take: Kamau MSR, ZC Jammer, and Helots (any loadout). The sectorial is really “take these things plus a competent remainder of your list and you will do well”. My worry is that with the powerhouse that is the Nisse, Sval will be equally constrained. I worry that Sval lists will be Nisses in cheap mixed cores, and those are too good to pass up. I think that mixed links with line troops and elite troops are lazy design and have taken this game in the wrong direction.

    Anyways enough proselytizing. I want some Helot sculpts post-haste. Box of 4 please, LRL, SMR, Red Fury, universal proxy. Montesa Biker would be fun, although I have a great conversion I use for him. Varuna is mostly set on releases after Helots and maybe another Echo Bravo. NCA could use a new Aquila MR but again, I have a badass conversion that I use made from the old HMG sculpt (the one shooting one-handed gangsta-style). New Auxilia would be greatly appreciated. Shock Army isn’t getting anything new although I dearly wish they’d do a Guarda again. And MO just got a wonderful present with Joan 2.0 in a fantastic dynamic pose!
     
  16. Golem2God

    Golem2God Just a Kooky Kumotail serving others.

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    @Stiopa Then don't sell them off. I've personally regretted giving away any of the miniatures I've gotten over the years. So my opinion is to keep them especially since you're having fun with both armies.
     
  17. Cartographer

    Cartographer Well-Known Member

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    I agree with one sentiment here, and disagree with the other.
    I'd only really rate one obligatory choice in VIRD, the Kamau MSR.
    The EB, ZC and Helots are great examples of exactly what I want more of in the future. There isn't any dead weight, every profile is competitive and selection is actually a meaningful decision (with the possible exception of the ZC FO and the Helot MSR).

    I do however dislike the creep into mixed fireteams territory; the odd wildcard or character that "counts as" is a nice way to add capability and efficiency to sectorials, but an all-wildcard fireteam core just feels wrong (outside of a merc company at least).
     
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  18. Stiopa

    Stiopa Trust The Fuckhead
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    I know, but selling models gives me both shelf space and funds for new ones :P For now I'm letting go the Phalanx.

    Regarding mixed fireteams: I think Acon does it perfectly. All fireteam choices are viable and balanced, there's no useless options, and Wildcard is manageable if bland af. All linkable units are an option to consider, depending on what I'm going for.

    My only SAA wish is for Rao and Singh to finally get a rework, even if the sectorial is benched for now.
     
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  19. Teslarod

    Teslarod Trebuchet Enthusiast

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    Mostly happy about having a choice now.
    Before basically the entirety of PanO was updated I was running very samey Acon and NCA lists (if I was playing PanO at all).
    Now there are 3 great Sectorials to play with as well as a vastly improved Vanilla.
    Santiago, ZC, EB and a lonely Helot bridge the gaps that kept PanO from being a proper Vanilla Faction.

    MO is okay in LI, which has statistically speaking been a sound success as the beer and pretzel format.
    In an unrestricted matchup the plethora of unavoidable weakpoints and drawbacks just kill them in the long run, while their strong points can easily replicated elsewhere with a better supporting cast.
     
    #39 Teslarod, Jun 3, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
  20. MrNailbrain

    MrNailbrain Relentless Optimist

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    I’d argue that the Jammer ZC does too much. The FO should have gotten Sensor to make it more attractive and make the Jammer less of a catch-all profile.

    There’s no Helot profile that stands head and shoulders above the rest, but not taking at least 1 Helot is actively handicapping yourself. They are so cheap and so good at what they do. It’s not necessarily an overpowered unit, but it’s a central part of playing Varuna and seems to be a strength the faction was designed around. It would be like playing Ramah without fielding a Red Fury Muhktar or Shasvastii without Red Fury Sheskiin.

    On the topic of fireteams, I really just dislike the trend of “let’s make the factions best shooting piece a wildcard so they get the core bonuses for less than 45 points”. Vet Kazak in a Line Kazak link, Kamau MSR in a Fusilier link, Rui Shi in an ABH link, Tarik in a Ghulam link, Sheskiin in a Nox link. Hell, even ORCs in Fusilier links and Mobile Brigadas in Alguacile links are culprits. It encourages lazy list design and min-maxing of unit choices. Last year if you wanted a B5 BS16-17 HMG you had to pay through the nose for it, but that level of power has become the new norm for most factions. Now it’s pretty trivial to include that in a list, and most players expect to see it. Whereas last year, that would have been pretty rare and usually indicative of a Limited Insertion list with a HI pain train.

    Ok rant over. Doesn’t mean I’ll stop using mixed links, they are still the most powerful option available to me and I’m not going to hamstring myself purposefully.