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Steel Phalanx: Why bother anymore?

Discussion in 'ALEPH' started by multor, Jan 9, 2020.

  1. multor

    multor Member

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    I started Infinity three years ago and I decided to go with Steel Phalanx as my faction of choice. I liked the minitaures (Bootleg Penny is still unreached) and I liked the fluff that came with the Greeks. They were also pretty competitive and quite respected among the Infinity players.
    Now, three years later, I find myself and SP in a different place:
    - Other factions lost their distinctive strengths and weaknesses due to the availability of mercenaries to most of them in their regular line-up to counter these peculiarities. In SP, I can only have the black&white-logoed ALEPH troopers or pay in those extremely sparse SWCs to hire from a broader range. I am aware that selecting a sectorial limits my selection of troopers. I am okay with that. So I just hope that the availability of Bounty Hunters and other guns for hire in other Sectorials is a transitional phenomenon heading towards N4.
    - Link-Teams are now quite common, even among the Core factions. This nullifies SP´s bonus by distinctive access to the Enomotarchos links. I like the Enomotarchos rules allowing only troopers of the same basic training to link, but is this something special? Not anymore.
    - No TAG: well, tactically I can have HI characters who function quite like TAGs, but they lack what TAGs bring to the battlefield: Heavy weaponry (MULTI-HMG, Cannons, etc.) and the ability to drop someone on foot. So, why no Talos or Trojan Horse, there´d be so fun options to make something from?
    - Fluff-wise: with the existence of O-12 as a faction, what´s the political point in having the SP anymore?
    - O12: An abundance of Akrylat, Adhesive launchers and nonlethal attacks is extremely effective against SP´s notorious lack of orders. Nice move, I truley like that! A lack of immunities opens another vulnerability for SP here.
    - With the coming of OSS: Good to see the rest of the ALEPH troopers getting to be used in a Sectorial after all. I really enjoy playing against them. Posthumans are awesome and Asuras are overpowered badasses that are really challenging!
    - SP was left out, when distributing newly introduced skills: Fatality (L1 & L2), Tactical Awareness, Counterintelligence, Lieutenant 2 (Hector?), NCO (come on, Scylla & Atalanta have it in their names already...), and others. While SP already has a handful of skills, those definitely make a difference (using a linked Lt.´s Lt-order, double crit-range on high burst weapons, etc.). So why nerfing SP by letting them out for those goodies?
    - Equipment: SP used to be known to wield the cutting edge of equipment. While that might still be true, they´re not alone anymore. ODDs are widespread, now and some other equipment is not available to SP at all: HD+, Def. HD, Deployable Repeaters, Biometric Visors, Remote Assistance, E/M-anything...?
    - No 5-head Fireteams: those are common now, but quite restricted, just as the Enomotarchos FTs, I have access to. But not having access to them (and the BS+3-Mod) sets SP back. More Enomotarchos options could counter that.
    - There is no option to link a Sniper even though the Agêmas would be perfect for an Enomotarchos option. Just give them a someone that can link them and they´d be awesome again, even compared to 5-head-team-linked snipers. I do not hink that´s OP since there are B5-Fat.L2 opponents out there!
    - There are only three different troopers for a Dactyl Fireteam (okay the Engineers comes in two loadouts, but the Flammenspeer is only an option if the rest of the list leaves me with 0.5 SWC). I can chosse Doc & Eng. multiple times, but what´s the point? Why not have a hacker or another Specialist Operative in there as well, running with Acmon from button to button?
    -SP is still great in campaign play, but only because of Thamyris, the only Journalist L2 in the game. If that gets nerfed or more widespread as well, I see nothing special in SP any longer. In Tournament play, this is completely irrelevant and Thamyris is not a good choice.
    - Lt options. The cheapest Lt.option comes with 25pts/1.5SWC and is one of three options to create a Thorakitai link (besides Thrasymedes, the only Infiltrator and Hector) and carries a Spitfire. If linked, she loses the Lt.order and the link creeps along on MOV 4-2. Diomedes can either be Lt. or use his AD (this combination makes no sense whatsoever, but costs points), three usually link and loose their Lt. order and two are characters in the 70+pts. range. So I always choose between losing my Lt. order or sinking almost 1/4 of my points into the Lt.. Achilles is a Rambo piece, supposed to run ahead... As a result, I have to run Hector? Seriously?
    - So many MOV 4-2 troopers. Thorakitai come with ARM 3 instead and the Agêma Snipers aren´t suppoed to run around after all, but I don´t see MOV 4-2 that often in other factions. Line Troops usually come with 4-4...
    - So, what did SP get: more Thorakitai (very nice!), Hippolyta (disappointing: a female Ajax who can´t even link; cool fluff though), a Remote Resculpt (okay, but not necessary imho) and an Andromeda boost, that didn´t make her more playable (btw.: why does the FD L2-loadout lose the BS in favor of a CR? That doesn´t make sense to me. Why not Sensor?).

    Don´t get me wrong, I don´t want any of the Alien Tech or other stuff, I don´t have at all (significant Infiltrators, Impersonation, Mines, Scavenger, Booty, Immunities, ...), I´m just asking for SP not to be left out of the Power Creep.
    Yes, I´m whining here and I do plan on choosing my next faction already. I just don´t want to be forced to choose a different faction and I do want to continue playing my beloved Greeks in a competitive environment. I´m building a table for them specifically. If SP is destined to go the way of Acontecimento and the Merowingians, please let me know asap. If not, please, CB, dedicate some love to the Greeks and keep them significant. Thank you.
     
  2. Diphoration

    Diphoration Well-Known Member
    Warcor

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    SP are competitively viable.
     
  3. RobertShepherd

    RobertShepherd Brisk antipodean

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    Sorry, what's the rules question here?
     
  4. archon

    archon Well-Known Member

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    First - I am not sure, you understood the purpose and gamestyle of Steel Phalanx: Go straight and kick asses. They are made to counter the aliens on paradiso and make it a show. They are not subtile, they are not a hacking sectorial, they are the Assault Subsection. No tricks, just kicks.

    I agree that SP gets not much new love in the last time. There are some profiles, that look overpriced or not even realy useful. But most of the older sectorials suffer the same even those that are getting updated. Still a lot of sectorials have no access to ABH and therefore the cheap 12 pts filler profile, that has no model yet.

    The Enomotarchos Link is a bit outdated compared to the mixed and wildcard link teams in modern and up to date sectorials. But it is still useful. In a LI list you can move 8 from 10 minis with two orders. You lack the BS bonus, but you still have SSL2, smoke with a high hit rate, ODD or less expensive line troops with arm 3.

    I think SP was not designed to have a TAG. Nor was it intented to have strong midrange (But Thoras can now fit that slot) or infiltrating units. Straight forward, thats why SP has ODD Troops and smoke. Speaking of smoke, with Teucer they have on of the powerfuls sniper/feuerbach profiles in the game, thanks to the change on MMS LX.

    O12 can use its ADHL vs every opponent and SP is not the only sectorial with no immunites against it (no one has) and a low order count.

    NCO - yeah this could make it into SP, I see that also. But Fat L2 is a mistake.

    Lt. options. That is a pill you have to swallow, if you play SP. Not forgot, you can have one of the best female CoCs options here ;.) Look at some NA armys, the are hit worsers with Lt options. But I agree, the enomo for Thoras should be more easy now in the age of linkteam crazyness.

    Beside of this SP looks like a finished sectorial. All models are out, no gaps. They have what they should have but still a bit room for some news. But I think we have to wait until N4.

    That be said, I think this is the wrong forum section.
     
    #4 archon, Jan 10, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
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  5. psychoticstorm

    psychoticstorm Aleph's rogue child
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    moved to the proper subforum.
     
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  6. Nemo No Name

    Nemo No Name Aleph Cultural Atache
    Warcor

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    :joy::joy::joy::joy::joy:
     
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  7. loricus

    loricus Satellite Druid

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    Don't play them at tournaments that you want to rank in. That doesn't apply to many people.
     
  8. yoink101

    yoink101 Well-Known Member

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    Steel Phalanx has absolutely missed out on the new toys, it that doesn’t mean they’re not viable any more. Between Diomedes, Achilles, Patroclus, and the new addition of Hippolyta, Phalanx still has some of the biggest potential for a strong alpha strike. Drakios is a phenomenal unit to have in the new reality of linked MSV snipers. While Enomotarchos teams were cutting edge and are now behind the curve, you’re still putting 4 cost effective models (thanks to frenzy on Myrmidons and Thorakitae) that bring a mix of order efficiency, high stats, and ungodly amounts of template weapons.

    There are certainly pieces you need to be very cautious of. The Mukhtar with red fury is the newest potent threat to Myrmidons and their officers and characters, but the Rui Shi is still at least as potent.

    The lack of deployable equipment and marker states is a weakness of the faction, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t fantastic.

    Would it be cool to see some wildcards and a Thorakitae core team with an Agema sniper in it? Obviously. Would I jump at the chance to add a minelayer to the roster? You bet. Are they a little bit behind the curve of other armies? It can definitely be argued. Am I still going to have a blast playing them? Absolutely.
     
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  9. TheDiceAbide

    TheDiceAbide Thank you for your compliance.
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    Oh man this post makes me sad, Steel Phalanx are a phenomenal army, I actually started them in part to remind people how awful facing ODD could be. Despite not receiving a lot of updates, they didn't really need them. They have incredible smoke and eclipse coverage, and some of the best gunfighters in the game, and top notch melee.

    You don't need 5-man link bonuses, and frankly, I've been skipping 5-man bonuses in my other armies for quite some time (the burst is plenty, I'd rather spend points on more utility and board coverage). Mixed links are also cute, but frankly, totally unnecessary with the composition of Steel Phalanx units.

    Sure, there are more shock weapons now than there were before, which is an inconvenience, but they were almost irrelevant before, so I understand adding more to the game. As it is, it is still rarely an issue, and just requires a little more forethought.

    It's easy to look at updates other armies get and think the grass is greener, but if Steel Phalanx came out today, with it's huge amount of ODD, NWI, ACHILLES, named characters, etc., people would be losing their minds about power creep.
     
  10. archon

    archon Well-Known Member

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    Rui Shi is - or at least can be - more potent. Usualy it will be buffed with MML2 and that inculdes shock and SP has no immunites. Still you have tools against that, like eclipse smoke. The potential goes up, if it is in Dashat.

    But anyway SP is still a potent opponent.
     
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  11. Tourniquet

    Tourniquet TJC Tech Support

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    Under normal circumstances ODD can be a real bastard to deal with when its army wide, however if you have an infestation of DTWs on disposable troops (or any super efficient piece trading model) it very quickly becomes worthless.


    Though on the whole SP is a solid choice and will give you fairly consistent results, and given the nature of the current ITS packet it's perfect for them (I never have to change my lists as the shell covers pretty much everything). It is still a very strong army, just nowhere near as dominant or oppressive as it used to be.
     
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  12. yoink101

    yoink101 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, but the Mukhtar can link (rui shi can too, but then it’s tethered to 4-4 models), isn’t hackable, is on a 25mm base, and has NWI. They’re two different flavors of everything that steel Phalanx has a hard time against.
     
  13. loricus

    loricus Satellite Druid

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    Greeks don't lose sleep over the opinions of Plebeians.
     
  14. archon

    archon Well-Known Member

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    Rui Shi hits on 15, can tank two hits and is still repairable ;-) but yeah there is truth in the different flavors :-D
     
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  15. Devil_Tiger

    Devil_Tiger Your Friendly Neighborhood Asura

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    To answer the Fluff concern, Steel Phalanx serves a specific purpose, they're a blunt, chaotic instrument of violence made to both ruin the days of the EI and also raise the morale of (most) human sphere troops they're sent to pull out of the fire/fight side by side with and so on. They're also a powerful propaganda tool via the Myrmidon Wars animated serie and other materials.

    They have no particular overlap with the O-12 armed forces, which are basically the equivalent of the Blue Helmet if they were allowed to use their weapons and the UN wasn't totally useless.
     
  16. Vaulsc

    Vaulsc Well-Known Member

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    I did a review on Steel Phalanx very recently. Overall I agree with most of the criticisms leveled here and problems factionwide, and would definitely place them bottom-third in an overall power ranking. Having said that they can still be played very viably thanks to the strength of limited insertion Achilles lists and 14-16 order lists that feature several link teams and cherry-pick the strongest profiles.

     
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  17. Savant

    Savant Lhosthost
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  18. Armihaul

    Armihaul Well-Known Member

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    All of those concerns can be applyed to half the sectorials out there (some of them were worse than SP and are still in worse possition), but even so, SP has got a bit of love at times, getting a few extra unexpected units, the last one being Hippolyta. Only one other faction receives as much lof as aleph (getting updates outside their normal update), so I cannot see what the problem is
     
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  19. Knauf

    Knauf Transhumanist

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    The grass is always greener on the other side.
     
  20. loricus

    loricus Satellite Druid

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    It's not really about being bored and getting new stuff. I think people would rather have subtle changes that give the faction new or better options rather than a new hero that, while cool and useable, doesn't actually change much. Like Hector or the Thorakitai weapons. Or losing +3 WIP to discover on 4 troop links.